This is an application for a Research Scientist Award (RSA) to support Dr. Michela Gallagher's research activities. Her research program is organized around two main lines of investigation. The first entails studies of neural systems involved in learning, an area of research that has been supported by NIMH since 1978. The research plan presented in this application builds on recent studies indicating a role for the amygdala in the regulation of attentional processes during associative learning. The second area focuses on the effects of aging on hippocampal/cortical systems, research presently supported by a National Institute on Aging program project grant. This research uses diverse methodologies (from behavioral analysis to molecular biological studies) in an examination of aging processes in the mammalian forebrain. The applicant's laboratory provides the Core Facilities for this multi-institutional effort. The studies in Dr. Gallagher's individual project within this program examines neurochemical systems in hippocampal pathways. Within the framework of her current research activities, Dr. Gallagher has established a number of collaborations with other scientists. This network currently supports a strong interdisciplinary program of research drawing on advanced techniques in both neuroscience and the study of behavior. These collaborations also provide a favorable setting for extending the range of Dr. Gallagher's scientific training and expertise. Specific areas for future development in her work will include: 1) the use of molecular neurobiological methods suitable for the study of neural systems (in situ hybridization) to complement other approaches already in place in the research program; 2) the use of computational modeling to examine the effects of aging on overall performance of neural systems; and, 3) extension of new models for amygdala function from rodents to the study of non-human primates. Collaborations are identified to support these objectives. In addition to Dr. Gallagher's prior record of research, she has been active as an educator, training numerous pre- and postdoctoral students in both the Neurobiology Curriculum and the Psychology Department Program in Experimental and Biological Psychology. Her activities in professional societies and local community also show a commitment to science education, more broadly. The applicant plans to continue these activities at Johns Hopkins University to advance the training of future scientists for research careers in areas relevant to mental health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Cognitive Functional Neuroscience Review Committee (CFN)
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Johns Hopkins University
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Colombo, Paul J; Gallagher, Michela (2002) Individual differences in spatial memory among aged rats are related to hippocampal PKCgamma immunoreactivity. Hippocampus 12:285-9
Holland, P C; Hatfield, T; Gallagher, M (2001) Rats with basolateral amygdala lesions show normal increases in conditioned stimulus processing but reduced conditioned potentiation of eating. Behav Neurosci 115:945-50
Nicolle, M M; Gallagher, M; McKinney, M (2001) Visualization of muscarinic receptor-mediated phosphoinositide turnover in the hippocampus of young and aged, learning-impaired Long Evans rats. Hippocampus 11:741-6
Schoenbaum, G; Chiba, A A; Gallagher, M (2000) Changes in functional connectivity in orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala during learning and reversal training. J Neurosci 20:5179-89
Nicolle, M M; Gallagher, M; McKinney, M (1999) No loss of synaptic proteins in the hippocampus of aged, behaviorally impaired rats. Neurobiol Aging 20:343-8
Nicolle, M M; Colombo, P J; Gallagher, M et al. (1999) Metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated hippocampal phosphoinositide turnover is blunted in spatial learning-impaired aged rats. J Neurosci 19:9604-10
Bucci, D J; Conley, M; Gallagher, M (1999) Thalamic and basal forebrain cholinergic connections of the rat posterior parietal cortex. Neuroreport 10:941-5
Gallagher, M; McMahan, R W; Schoenbaum, G (1999) Orbitofrontal cortex and representation of incentive value in associative learning. J Neurosci 19:6610-4
Gallagher, M; Schoenbaum, G (1999) Functions of the amygdala and related forebrain areas in attention and cognition. Ann N Y Acad Sci 877:397-411
Han, J S; Holland, P C; Gallagher, M (1999) Disconnection of the amygdala central nucleus and substantia innominata/nucleus basalis disrupts increments in conditioned stimulus processing in rats. Behav Neurosci 113:143-51

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