K99/R00 Application receives best possible impact score!

My K99/R00 Pathway to Independence grant to the National Cancer Institute was discussed on 6/27/19, and the following day was assigned an impact score of 10! Grants are scored on their potential impact from a score of 10 (best) to 90 (worst) in 1 point increments. This indicates that the grant will likely be funded. I am blown away by this score, and can’t wait to get started on the science! The grant is titled “Neuromodulation of subcortical circuits controlling cancer growth & metastasis”.

Paper published in Molecular Psychiatry!

Our paper “Acute exposure to low-level light at night is sufficient to induce neurological changes and depressive-like behavior” has been published in Molecular Psychiatry. This work consists of a series of simple experiments demonstrating that short-duration (3 days) exposure to low levels of light at night can drastically alter depressive-like behavior and hippocampal gene expression. This is also the last paper I have from my graduate school lab ! A little fact about this paper…during the completion of this study we did behavioral testing every day for 2 months (including weekends etc…)!

Our paper demonstrates that low levels of light at night influence the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors, along with cytokine mRNA, in the murine hippocampus. Pictured above is DyLight-594 labeled tomato lectin (red), which labels all active capillaries in the brain (Credit: JCB)

Our paper demonstrates that low levels of light at night influence the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors, along with cytokine mRNA, in the murine hippocampus. Pictured above is DyLight-594 labeled tomato lectin (red), which labels all active capillaries in the brain (Credit: JCB)

New review paper available online as a preprint

William Walker II and myself have put up a new preprint of our paper “Molecular mechanisms of cancer-induced sleep disruption” to preprints.org . This is my first time publishing a pre-print….and I like it so far! In this review, we discuss emerging research that links the brain and cancer in the periphery. Specifically, we highlight how this cross-talk alters the host response to tumors, causing ‘collateral damage’ like sleep disruption, systemic inflammation, metabolic changes, and anorexia/cachexia.

figureone.jpg

Paper accepted in Molecular Psychiatry !

After a long review process, a paper that we began working on over two years ago has been accepted for publication in Molecular Psychiatry. It is titled “Acute Exposure to Low Level Light at Night is Sufficient to Induce Neurological Changes and Depressive-like Behavior” with William Walker II as the lead author. The paper demonstrates that as little as 3 days of exposure to dim light at night induces larges changes in central gene expression and the development of depressive like behavior. Glad that this is seeing the light of day !

Acute changes in locomotor behavior in response to light at night.

Acute changes in locomotor behavior in response to light at night.

Review paper published in the Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment

My first ‘single author paper’, “Central Regulation of Breast Cancer Growth & Metastasis” was just published in the Journal of Cancer Metastasis and Treatment. This was very exciting to put together as it was another excuse to write a lot about a topic that I love. In this review, I present some of the exciting research that aims to uncover how the brain interacts with the body to facilitate cancer growth.

Examples of neural circuits that play an important role in cancer-associated systemic disruption (e.g., circadian rhythm and sleep abnormalities, systemic inflammation, and anorexia/cachexia).

Examples of neural circuits that play an important role in cancer-associated systemic disruption (e.g., circadian rhythm and sleep abnormalities, systemic inflammation, and anorexia/cachexia).