Undergraduate trainees Ann Robles (Bondi lab; top) and Andrew Victoria (Kline lab; middle) will be supported by NINDS for the next 1.5 years to continue their research and career development at the Safar Center. Ann and Andrew are both neuroscience majors interested in the MD/PhD track. The supplemental funding is derived from parent R01 grants titled “Traumatic brain injury and aging: targeting the cholinergic system for deficits in sustained attention and executive function” (PI, Bondi) and “Optimizing environmental enrichment to model preclinical neurorehabilitation” (PI, Kline). Ann will evaluate the efficacy of post-insult delayed and subchronic administration of an allosteric agonist of α7 nAChRs on restoring neurobehavior and anxiety, and brain markers of cholinergic transmission. Andrew will conduct studies to determine whether a bridge therapy (amantadine before the initiation of environmental enrichment; EE) is more effective than amantadine or EE alone after pediatric TBI.
Ann and Andrew, along with peer Anna Carpio (Kline lab; bottom; psychology major interested in rehabilitation graduate programs) also received individual travel awards from the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science to present their research at the annual conference in San Juan Puerto Rico.