UT’s Goldowitz Awarded Four Million Dollar NIH Grant

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Daniel Goldowitz, PhD, the Methodist Hospitals Foundation Professor for Neuroscience at UTHSC, has just been awarded a five-year grant totaling nearly $4 million by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Daniel Goldowitz, PhD, the Methodist Hospitals Foundation Professor for Neuroscience at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has just been awarded a five-year grant totaling nearly $4 million by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He is the principal investigator on the grant which will support researchers from UTHSC, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Bowdoin College in Maine.

The research team will study the genes that are involved in the development of the cerebellum, a part of the brain that is critical to movement and has been implicated in autism, schizophrenia, and other important neurological disorders.

“We will be using cutting edge tools in molecular biology, bioinformatics, computer science and three-dimensional visualization to understand the basic development of one part of the most complex of human organs, the brain,” Dr. Goldowitz commented. A professor of anatomy and neurobiology, Dr. Goldowitz also serves as director of the UT Center of Excellence in Genomics and Bioinformatics. As center director, one of his key projects has been to establish the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium, a collaboration of experts and resources from across Tennessee dedicated to studying complex disorders of the brain using mouse models. He has also been active in producing unique mouse models to study the role of the cerebellum in autism-related behavior.

“Autism is an increasingly prevalent disorder that manifests itself within the first two years of life. The cerebellum has been one of the regions of the brain found to be consistently affected in this disorder; and we are actively looking at ways to model autism so that we can test potential restorative or curative interventions,” Dr. Goldowitz noted.

Dr. Goldowitz holds a doctorate in psychobiology from the University of California, Irvine, and postdoctoral fellowships from the University of Utah, Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), and Harvard Medical School. He currently holds several editorial appointments, is an associate editor of Genes, Brain, Behavior, and is an editorial board member of Cerebellum and J. Neurogenetics.