News

Good News About a Breakthrough Conte Center Publication

November 2018

The manuscript describing the QUIC (Questionnaire of Unpredictability In Childhood), has been accepted to Neuropsychopharmacology, the flagship journal of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The paper enables researchers and practitioners working with infants, children, and adults to employ measures of unpredictability and fragmentation of early-life environment in clinical and study contexts. 

The Conte Center is happy to share the paper and the methodologies with interested investigators throughout the world. 

Kudos to Prof. Laura Glynn, the lead author of this important study.   

 

Jessica L. Bolton, PhD receives NARSAD Young Investigator Award

August 2018

Conte Center Postdoctoral fellow Jessica L. Bolton has been selected to receive the NARSAD Young Investigator Grant.  Sponsored by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, this grant is prestigious amongst post-doctorates and young assistant professors in mental health research. This award will provide Dr. Bolton up to $35,000 per year for two years with a total of $70,000 to continue her research proposal, “Developmental Programming of Microglia-specific Functional and Transcriptomic Changes by Early-Life Adversity.” 

New Center publication in Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that fragmentation and unpredictable parental signals may be relevant to smartphone use.

Cellphone/smartphone use is now constant and ubiquitous: Over 95% of millennials and 85% of Gen-X individuals own a smartphone...Read the full article

Conte Center Team Honored with ICTS Team Science Award

April 2018

The Institute for Clinical and Translational Science has named Conte Center @ UCI the recipient of its 2018 Robert Newcomb Interdisciplinary Team Science Award. The award was created to “highlight and honor individuals who have played a formative role in bringing together teams of researchers from diverse, trans-, multi-, and interdisciplinary backgrounds in studies and projects that have advanced biomedical and clinical research” according to the center’s website. The award was presented at The 10th Annual ICTS Awards Dinner “People Who Make A Difference in Human Health”.

Conte Center Director receives American Academy of Neurology’s highest award

April 2018

Dr. Tallie Z. Baram received the prestigious 2018 Cotzias Award during the American Academy of Neurology‘s 70th annual meeting, held in April 2018, in Los Angeles. Established in 1978, the Cotzias Lecture and Award are named for George C. Cotzias, MD, who together with colleagues developed L-Dopa treatment, the most commonly used intervention for Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Baram delivered the lecture, “How Early-Life Experiences Sculpt Your Brain,” at the meeting’s Presidential Plenary Session on Sunday, April 22. Her groundbreaking research examines how such experiences, specifically stress or seizures, influence the function of brain cells, essentially by re-programming them. This influences how they assemble into precise brain circuits, which affects development and also vulnerability or resilience to mental illness.

Read the full article at UC Irvine Health News.

New Conte Center Publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

August 2017

Memory function of children seem to be worse if maternal care patterns were unpredictable. In adolescent rats, receiving fragmented and unpredictable maternal care early in life directly worsened memory.

Using both observations of human children and direct manipulation of maternal care in rodents enabled Conte Center investigators led by Profs. Elysia Davis and Tallie Z. Baram to conclude that brain development is sensitive to patterns of maternal-derived signals. Specifically, unpredictable and fragmented patterns of maternal signals may not permit optimal development of brain machinery that underlies cognitive functions.

These findings are highly important in today’s world where maternal interactions with her child might be disrupted and fragmented by numerous distractions.

Read the article

Impaired ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) can be reversed in adults!

September 2017

Impaired ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) resulting from fragmented/unpredictable early-life experiences can be reversed in adults! A paper by postdoctoral researcher Jessica Bolton and the UCI Conte Center team in the prominent journal Biological Psychiatry shows

Megan Curran receives 2017 Graduate Student Award

July 2017

Conte Center MD/PhD graduate student Megan Curran received the 2017 Renée Harwick Advanced Graduate Student Award sponsored by the UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. The Renée Harwick Advanced Graduate Student Award is funded by an endowed gift by Dr. Renée Harwick to recognize a graduate student who shows outstanding scientific promise and to support the completion of the student’s Ph.D. thesis.

2016 Neurobiology of Stress Workshop

July 2016

The 2016 Neurobiology of Stress Workshop, sponsored in part by the Conte Center @ UCI, was held in sunny Southern California, had close to 200 participants and was a great success. The next workshop is bound for Banff/Calgary, Canada in June 2018. To learn more about the 2018 Workshop, contact co-organizers Matthew Hill or Jaideep Bains. To be added to the workshop distribution list, please send an email to stressneurobiologymeeting2018@gmail.com