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The Cortex of the Matter

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 2, 2017) — Sally Temple, a professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Public Health and co-founder and scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute on UAlbany's Health Sciences Campus, received an award from the National Institutes of Health for her exploration of cerebral cortex development.

Sally Temple biomedical scientist UAlbany

Sally Temple of the School of Public Health.

In her investigations, Temple and her research team are employing stem cell technology, which has the potential to reveal new knowledge about how the human cortex forms and how neural stem cells can be activated to counteract developmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

The R35 Research Program Award (RPA), a pilot program designed to encourage creative research, was announced on Feb. 1 by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health. The RPA funds researchers for five years, with the potential to have that funding extended for up to an additional three years. This funding initiative was developed to provide support for a grantee’s overall research program, not just individual projects.

Temple is one of 30 researchers who received the award. Her project is Defining characteristics of cortical progenitor cells over time in mouse and human.

Temple, a native of York, England, leads a team of 30 researchers focused on using neural stem cells to develop therapies for eye, brain and spinal cord disorders. In 2008, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her contribution and future potential in the neural stem cell field. She is a member of the board of directors of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and of the medical advisory boards of the NY Stem Cell Foundation and the Genetics Policy Institute.

Her numerous articles have been published in such journals as Nature, Cell Stem Cell, Neuron, and Cell.

Applications for the R35 RPA were peer reviewed according to NIH standards, which include an assessment of investigators’ track records and the significance and relevance of their proposed research programs. The 30 awardees include principal investigators at a variety of career stages and a range of topics that include the use of models such as fruit flies and yeast to better understand neurodegenerative disease; how the human brain forms and grows during development; the molecular and cellular changes that give rise to memory; whole-genome studies to determine how to promote neural repair; mechanisms of pain; and diseases of the brain.

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