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Dr Angelo Iulianella, BRC Researcher, member of the Neurodevelopment cluster and AMAP member, was one of a number of researchers from Dalhousie University who received CIHR funding for their innovative health research. Dr Iulianella received in excess of $750k to study the molecular and cellular regulation of neocortical circuit formation to understand the basis of neurodevelopment disorders. Project Title: Molecular regulation of neocortical circuit formation in a model for neurodevelopmental disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), such as hydrocephaly, lissencephaly, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability affect up to one in eight children born and represent a significant challenge to the health care system and resources available to Canadian families. NDDs are thought to arise from abnormal brain formation in the fetus, yet the underlying genetic and cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown and treatment options are extremely limited.

Dr. Iulianella and his team have identified a new regulator of neocortical organization that gives several hallmarks of development disorders of the human brain when mutated in mouse models. Their study will help advance our knowledge of the cellular and molecular processes that contribute to the formation of the neocortex and its connections to the regions of the brain important for emotion and cognition. They also hope to identify diagnostic events and therapeutic strategies for addressing developmental disorders of the brain.

Link to Source article (DALNews, February 6, 2018)

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