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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

PD/PI:
  • Levi Storks
Award Date:06/21/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 138,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 138,000
  • FY 2021=$138,000
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology FY 2021: The social brain: behavioral, neural, and transcriptomic modulation of the brain
Federal Award ID Number:2109472
DUNS ID:NR
Program:Biology Postdoctoral Research
Program Officer:
  • John Barthell
  • (703) 292-2618
  • jbarthel@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:
City:Columbia
State:MO
ZIP:65211
County:
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Louisiana State University
Street:
City:Baton Rouge
State:LA
ZIP:70803-2750
County:Baton Rouge
Country:US
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

This action funds an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology for FY 2021, Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes. The fellowship supports research and training of the Fellow that will contribute to the area of Rules of Life in innovative ways. Animals interact with their world through cognitive mechanisms, the substrates of which are found in the neural tissues of the central nervous system. A fundamental mechanism of cognition is associative learning where an individual associates a stimulus with a specific experience. Animals form many associations about events in their world, including negative events such as the avoidance of predators or extreme conditions and positive events such as the location of food or mates. Depending on how an individual reacts to stress, positive and negative learning contexts likely affect individuals in different ways. Using zebrafish as a model, this research aims to understand how fish with differing stress reactivity react to different learning contexts, and how this differentially affects their brain. The project will create public outreach opportunities to diverse audiences in association with this work. This research will utilize cutting edge behavioral analysis and neuromolecular techniques to probe the behavioral, neural, and transcriptomic outcomes of different learning contexts. Using zebrafish from lines selected for high (reactive) and low (proactive) stress reactivity, the Fellow will train fish in a conditioned place preference paradigm using appetitive or aversive stimuli. Following the experiment, neural activation will be evaluated using the immediate early gene egr-1 and expression of the plasticity-related gene npas4a across a network of brain regions involved in learning and memory. The Fellow will then evaluate the neural transcriptome in the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala. The Fellow will compare learning and memory, neural activation, and gene expression between learning contexts (appetitive or aversive) and stress coping styles (reactive or proactive) to determine how intrinsic and extrinsic factors interact in individual fish to affect cognition at the behavioral, neural, and transcriptomic level. This fellowship will provide opportunities for the Fellow to develop research, teaching, and public engagement skills that will prepare them to begin an independent career at a research-intensive institution. The Fellow will engage diverse communities with STEM through public outreach and cultivate valuable research opportunities for students from local community colleges. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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