CINCINNATI—Chiou-Fen Chuang, PhD, has been awarded a 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to fund continuing neurodevelopment research.
Chuang, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati and researcher in developmental biology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, was one of 16 neuroscientists nationwide to receive this two-year, $50,000 award.
"I am very honored to receive this fellowship,” she says. "This award will help my lab reach its long-term goal of understanding developmental mechanisms that establish brain asymmetry and may help in the development of treatments for patients worldwide.”
Chuang and her colleagues are studying how the differences between left-brain and right-brain are established during development.
"Left-right asymmetry in development of the central nervous system is important for normal brain functions. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the brain asymmetry are unclear,” she says. "Molecular, genetic, cell biological and live-imaging approaches are used to address this question in a small roundworm—Caenorhabditis elegans—which has a simple nervous system containing only 302 neurons with conserved functions.
"Our research will shed light on the fundamental mechanisms of human brain asymmetry and could lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for treating laterality-based neurological disorders including developmental dyslexia, schizophrenia, depression and autism.”
Sloan fellowships are awarded to stimulate fundamental research by young faculty members in seven fields: neuroscience, mathematics, molecular biology, chemistry, economics, physics and computer science.
These awards are given to 118 researchers annually in recognition of their distinguished performance and unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
Chuang received her doctoral degree from the California Institute of Technology and did her post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, and Rockefeller University, New York. She established her research lab in the division of developmental biology at Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation in 2007.
In addition to the Sloan Fellowship, Chuang received a Whitehall Foundation Research Award and a Cincinnati Children’s Trustee Grant Award in 2008. She is currently a faculty member at UC and part of the university’s Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program and the Neuroscience Graduate Program.
To view the full list of 2010 Sloan Fellowship recipients, visit the foundation's Web site.