June 25, 2018
LA JOLLA—Eiman Azim, an assistant professor in Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, has received a McKnight Scholar Award from the McKnight Foundation. The award, which totals $225,000 over three years, encourages neuroscientists at early stages of their careers to focus on disorders of learning and memory. Each year it is awarded to no more than six neuroscientists.
“Eiman’s multidisciplinary approach to understanding how the nervous system controls movement is garnering increasing interest,” says Salk President Rusty Gage. “We are extremely gratified that the McKnight Foundation sees the tremendous potential of his work to inform clinical applications for restoring function in motor circuits affected by injury or disease.”
Azim, who in 2017 was named a Searle Scholar, a Pew Scholar and a Kathryn W. Davis Aging Brain Scholar, explores how neural circuits solve the many challenges of dexterous motor control, such as holding a cup of coffee or catching a ball. His laboratory takes advantage of genetic and viral tools, anatomical analysis, electrophysiological recording, imaging and detailed motor behavioral tests to piece together the underpinnings of skilled limb movements like reaching and grasping. This type of knowledge could clarify how injury or disease disrupts the normal execution of movement and pave the way for improved diagnosis and treatment of motor circuits damaged by injury or disease.
The McKnight Scholars Award is funded by the Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, an independent charitable organization established by the McKnight Foundation that works to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain and behavior can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated.
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