Congratulations to Amit Agarwal, a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience working with Dwight Bergles for winning the w. Barry Wood, Jr., Young Investigator's Day Award.
Mentor: Dwight Bergles
Project Details: Maintaining connections between the neuron and glia cells in the brain are essential for its precise functioning. However, the mechanisms by which neurons and glia communicate to assemble a conscious brain are not well understood. To study one of most numerous glial cell type called astrocytes, I developed novel mouse genetics tools and combined advanced microscopic techniques and computational methodologies. Using these tools and technologies, I uncovered a novel mechanism by which norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter released by neurons when we are trying to be attentive, stimulates astrocytes to enhance energy production to support anticipated neuronal activity. This finding reveals a new mechanism by which brain actively regulates its energy demands. Any disturbances in such delicate cross-talk between neuron-glia can lead to improper support of neurons by glia, which can contribute to various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Learn more about Amit's work and the Dwight Bergles Laboratory.
What’s Next: Currently, I am looking for a faculty position. I want to set up my own laboratory and explore the various role of enigmatic glial cells in the brain.