UTSA Granted With $5.29 Million For Brain Health Research

By Reina Ilagan

Dec 02, 2016 10:22 AM EST

The University of Texas at San Antonio has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with an eight-year grant amounting to $5,292,000 to support brain health research.

 "With this substantial funding, UTSA will continue its leadership in brain health research and help the scientific community better understand, diagnose, treat, and prevent neurological disorders like Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases," said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro in a statement.

Charles Wilson, professor and Ewing Halsell Chair in Biology at UTSA, will receive the grant through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. His research, which focuses on the brain region responsible for voluntary motor behavior, will include examinations of local cell signaling. His research on neuroscience aims to improve the understanding of basal ganglia disorders, and assist in the development of potentially effective treatments.

"This prestigious award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is an immeasurable investment in brain health, which is a key research area not only for UTSA but also for the entire UT System," said Bernard Arulanandam, UTSA interim vice president for research.

He added that the research will advance the understanding on degenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease.

With San Antonio being a prominent leader in science, Castro believes that the grant attests to UTSA's "impressive and expansive research programs."

Our nation must never lose sight of the value of research, discovery, and knowledge. I'm proud that UTSA and the broader San Antonio community are leaders in learning, particularly in the field of brain health," he added.

The projects on brain health done by the UTSA faculty include research in neurodegenerative disease, traumatic brain injury, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapies, medicinal chemistry, neuroinflammation and drug design.

The funding was awarded to the UTSA through the Outstanding Investigator Award program which provides long-term support to researchers.

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