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Pew Charitable Trusts names Nicola Allen a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

Nicola Allen

Nicola Allen, assistant professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, has received the honor of being named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. She is one of only 22 researchers in biomedical sciences to receive the honor this year. She joins the ranks of more than 600 outstanding scientists who have been selected as Pew scholars in the 30 years since the program’s inception.

Allen’s research investigates the role of astrocytes in reinforcing the brain’s ability to learn new tasks and make sense of its environment. Astrocytes are the most abundant cells in the brain and play critical roles in regulating neuronal function. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Allen identified molecules that astrocytes use to guide the formation of neuronal connections in the developing mammalian brain. She has extended this work to analyzing the critical period of development when newborns rewire their brains in response to the stream of visual input.