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Bargmann to speak at CCOM

The Carver College of Medicine (CCOM) together with the Obesity Research and Education Initiative will host Cori Bargmann, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor as part of the Distinguished Biomedical Lecture Series. Bargmann will give a presentation entitled "Neuromodulation and Long-Term Behaviors."

As an investigator in the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University, Bargmann explores how environment, experience and genes interact to shape behavior. This exploration is pursued utilizing experimentation with Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a worm with only 302 neurons but considerable behavior sophistication. The worm’s very simple nervous system makes it an ideal model for studying the relationships among genes, neural circuits and behavior. For example, Bargamnn’s lab pinpointed a gene called npr-1 that determines whether worms prefer to eat alone or in social groups that is closely related to a human protein involved in regulating appetite and anxiety. The observed relationships between worm genes and behavior allow for a better position to understand the complex human brain.

Bargmann received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship there under H. Robert Horvitz at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research until accepting a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco. She remained there until joining Rockefeller as the Tortsten N. Wiesel Professor in 2004.

In addition to having received prominent awards including the 2012 Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and the 2012 NYU/Dart Biotechnology Achievement Award, Bargmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Bargmann was also selected as one of the first winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences which aims to reward scientists who have made a significant impact on our daily lives.

Recently, Bargmann was selected to co-lead a working group at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The NIH along with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation will be collaborating on the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative. This newly announced research initiative aims to invent and refine new technologies to understand the human brain. The working group that Bargmann co-leads will be charged with developing a plan for this initiative including specific initiative goals as well as time and cost estimates.  

Bargmann is slated to speak Thursday April 18th at 4:00 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110 MERF). The lecture is free and open to the public.

Story Source: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

Media Contact: Laura Zeman, Carver College of Medicine Administration Office