The Festival of Light Award is an annual award that is offered for innovative and important neuroscience research within the OHSU community that has the potential to significantly change the way medical problems are addressed. We are pleased to announce that this year's recipient is Jodi McBride for her work on the neural basis of Huntington's disease, using the nonhuman primate as the model system.
Dr. McBride focuses on the striatal circuits underlying motor and limbic and limbic behavior, and develops cutting edge technologies to understand and manipulate these functional circuits. She has developed multimodal studies that include neurobehavioral assessment, modern chemogenetic studies using DREADDs, technically challenging neurosurgical methods under in situ MRI-guidance, MR resting state imaging, and cellular slice recordings of tissue obtained from the same Huntington's model monkeys. Recently, she has led a collaborative group of investigators in the discovery of a monkey model for Batten's disease, an often fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects basic lysosomal function. This discovery received considerable press coverage. Dr. McBride is a rising star whose work will strongly impact the understanding of basic brain disease and, who furthermore, pushes forward the frontiers of neurotechnology towards treatment of these diseases. She is an inspirational model for young scientists in medical research.
We were delighted that Dr. Devorah Lieberman joined us for this year's event. The award is made possible by an endowed fund established in 2007 by Dr.Lieberman's father, Irving Lieberman. We appreciate the Lieberman family's ongoing support for neuroscience research.