The Neurobiology of Disease and Behavior laboratory welcomes it's newest graduate student, Andrew Ortiz. As a native to Las Vegas with an impressive background in neuroscience research, the Kinney Lab is excited to welcome Andrew! Ortiz graduated from UNLV with a major in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. His research path began in the Hyman In Vivo electrophysiology laboratory under the supervision of Dr. James Hyman where he focused on investigating the systematic synchronization of brain function. Andrew's current research initiatives will include the investigation of glia cells (e.g. microglia and astrocytes), diabetes, and how that pertains to chronic neuroinflamation and neurodegenerative disease models. Welcome Andrew!
News & Updates
Chelsea Tran and Renzo Chuapoco from the Neurobiology of Disease and Behavior Laboratory were invited to present at the summer undergraduate research symposium held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Under the supervision of Dr. Jefferson Kinney and with the help of post-doctoral fellow, Arnold Salazar, Tran and Chuapoco represented UNLV undergraduate research with confidence and excitement. Presenting novel ideas linking GABA in various forms to inflammation and the ever pressing epidemic of Alzheimer's Disease. With the work of both Tran and Chuapoco alongside many other undergraduate scientists they continue to advance the research initiatives on the UNLV campus. Stay tuned for future work from the research students of the Kinney Lab.
The Kinney lab welcomed Josh Gordon, a rising high school senior to join the lab for a summer internship. The Kinney lab values the development of the Las Vegas youth and is excited to offer this opportunity to a dedicated student. Josh joined the laboratory after a short internship at The Naval Academy and has devoted his summer to advancing his knowledge and scientific skill set. Josh has aspirations of pursuing a medical career after graduating high school. Josh will graduate from Liberty High School with advanced accolades in 2019.
New Publication — Effects of Fatigue on Balance in Individuals With Parkinson Disease: Influence of Medication and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Genotype
Amanda Leisgang will be joining our laboratory as a graduate student in the Ph.D. program starting Fall 2017. Amanda graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2015 with degrees in biology, psychology, and chemistry. Amanda has previously worked in the laboratory of Dr. Devinder Sandhu specializing in plant genetics and is excited to focus her attention on her passion for neurodegenerative diseases.
Congratulations Amanda on your acceptance into the program!
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is hosting Dementia 2017 on June 10, 2017. Dementia 2017 is a continuing education conference focusing on the impact that head trauma, metabolic disturbances, and vascular disease can have on the onset and progression of dementia. This is a clinical based conference but is open to anyone interested in furthering their understanding of dementia — medical and health care providers, neurologists, research scientists, and students. Numerous UNLV research faculty members and graduate students will be in attendance to assist in bridging the translation gap that exists between clinical care and pre-clinical research as we attempt to further our understanding more about the clinical population that we are trying to emulate in our pre-clinical models.
Additionally, sometimes it seems like there can be a dearth of science-related events, particular neuroscience, here in our Las Vegas valley home and it is important to help spread the word whenever there is an opportunity to support our health-care professionals and our science community in any way that we can. Please pass along this information to anyone that you think might be interested or benefit from attending.
There is a registration deadline and fee associated with this conference so please plan accordingly.
Interested in learning more about Alzheimer's disease and meeting with other Alzheimer's disease researchers, graduate students, and other neuroscience and medical professionals? The Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter is hosting an Alzheimer's Education Conference on Thursday April 27, 2017. This clinical-oriented education workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about Alzheimer's disease, whether you are a research scientist, a clinician, a student, a caregiver, or simply a member of the community seeking to further your education. You must register for the event so please plan accordingly.
Another year, another successful Brain Bee here at UNLV. Congratulations to our three winners, especially Sona from Clark High School for taking 1st place.
If you know a high school student who would like to participate in the next Brain Bee (Spring 2018), please have them view the information on our Outreach page, which includes the required study material, and check out the Nevada Brain Bee website for up-to-date information on the next Brain Bee.
UNLV Faculty and Graduate Students who participated in the 2017 Las Vegas Brain Bee include:
- Dr. James Hyman
- Dr. Dustin Hines
- Monica Bolton
- Andrew Murtishaw
- Austin Boren
Monica successfully defended her dissertation and is officially Dr. Bolton now! Congratulations, Dr. Bolton!
Another busy year for the Kinney Lab at the Society for Neuroscience 2016 Annual Meeting. This year we had just two poster presentations. Monica Bolton presented some of her dissertation research in a poster titled, "An Evaluation of GABA-B receptors in modulating inflammation." Andrew Murtishaw presented some of his dissertation pilot data in a poster called, "The effects of insulin impairments in CX3CR1 knockout mice on dementia-related pathology and neuroinflammation,"
Per tradition, we were able to coordinate a Kinney Lab dinner with our current lab members and many previous lab members — our Kinney Lab family tree is certainly growing every year.
We had the pleasure of getting together with other researchers working on our COBRE grant here in Southern Nevada, as well as those working on a separate COBRE up at the University of Nevada, Reno, in our first annual COBRE Meeting held at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Among the many speakers were Dr. Jeff Cummings from the Cleveland Clinic, who oversees the COBRE grant, and Dr. Bruce Lamb, from the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, whom we work closely with on several aspects of this grant.
Members from our lab highlighted our role in this grant, work currently underway, as well as data that has already been collected. Dr. Kinney gave a talk on the translational work that we are doing to bridge some of the gaps between clinical studies and animal research, Monica Bolton gave a short presentation on the project she is currently working on from her dissertation research, and Andrew Murtishaw displayed a poster on some of his previous work.
Monica Bolton was elected as the 2017 Student Councilor for the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. Monica was nominated, along with several other graduate and post-doctoral students from across the world, for the position and was ultimately elected to the post following member-wide voting. Monica's dedication and many years of service to IBNS has been noticed by the members and rightfully resulted in her being elected.
Monica Bolton has been selected to receive a travel award by Amgen to attend the 2016 National Biotechnology Conference to present some of her recent work on ketamine and mTOR signaling. Additionally, Monica has been asked to moderate the session "Pre-existing antibody risk assessment and mitigation strategies" and also to be a contributing writer for their blog with a piece entitled, "From Drug Abuse to a Glimpse Into Depression."
Volunteers from Dr. Kinney's Neurobiology of Disease & Behavior Lab and The H.i.v.e (Hyman's in vivo electrophysiology) Lab spent a couple of days teaching fourth grade students at Kitty Ward Elementary (April 11) and Wallin Elementary (May 2) all about the brain.
If you are interested with having our group come to your school for a Brain Awareness Outreach event, please contact Dr. James Hyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Murtishaw was selected as the 2015-2016 UNLV Outstanding Graduate Teacher of the Year. The selection was multi-tiered with Andrew originally put forward as the UNLV College of Liberal Arts' nominee before being selected from that pool of nominees from each college as the overall winner.
Congratulations to Jay for winning the Las Vegas Brain Bee 2016!
Students from several Las Vegas high schools competed on February 20, 2016 for an all-expense-paid trip to Baltimore to compete in the USA National Brain Bee. The winner of the USA National Brain Bee will receive an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the International Brain Bee, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Thank you to our judges and to all the volunteers involved with Nevada Brain Bee. More importantly, thank you to all of our high school participants!
UNLV Faculty and Graduate Students who participated in the 2016 Las Vegas Brain Bee:
- Dr. James Hyman
- Dr. Dustin Hines
- Monica Bolton
- Andrew Murtishaw
- Ryan Wirt
Dr. Kinney gave a talk at the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine (NIPM) 2016 Annual Retreat on Feb. 12, 2016. Dr. Kinney discussed Alzheimer's disease and some of the results from our recent publication with the Cleveland Clinic involving bexarotene, a drug that may potentially be used in the fight against Alzheimer's disease .
New Publication — Double-blind, Placebo Controlled, Proof-of-Concept Trial of Bexarotene in Moderate Alzheimer's Disease
Austin Boren will be joining our research team as a graduate student in the Ph.D. program beginning Fall 2016. Austin has worked hard for our lab over the last couple years in a variety of capacities, including as a research assistant and, more recently, as our laboratory technician.
Congratulations Austin on your acceptance into the program!