November 26 2010

FMI PhD student honored by University of Basel

Today, the University of Basel has honored Ivan Galimberti, former PhD student of Pico Caroni's lab at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI), with the Faculty Prize for the best thesis. The prize is awarded once a year at the Dies Academicus by the Faculty of Science.

During his thesis at the FMI, Ivan Galimberti has studied the structural plasticity of synaptic connections in the central nervous system. This plasticity is essential when it comes to learning and memory. Using time-lapse imaging experiments, he has been able to identify locations in the hippocampus where synaptic connections are higly plastic and represent key centers for learning and memory formation. He could further demonstrate the involvement of the Eph4 signaling pathway in these processes. "One of the key developments in my thesis was an ex-vivo assay. It allowed me to overcome the blood-brain barrier and permitted the study of molecular pathways and drug treatments in brain tissue", explains Galimberti.

Currently, Ivan Galimberti is investigating the mechanisms controlling the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Hungtington's and Alzheimer's, at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

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