UT Investigator Awarded NIH Grant to Study Olfactory Function

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Abdallah Mtanios Hayar, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at UTHSC, was recently awarded a $1,460,000, five year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study olfactory functioning (sense of smell).

Abdallah Mtanios Hayar, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), was recently awarded a $1,460,000, five year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study olfactory functioning (sense of smell).

“Recently, interest in olfactory dysfunction has heightened because there appears to be a link between olfactory bulb impairment and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,” explained Dr. Hayar. His team was the first to discover unique neuron activities that may further explain how the sense of smell works. The current grant will explore the fundamental network mechanisms responsible for encoding and processing odor information.

David V. Smith, PhD, UTHSC’s Simon R. Bruesch Professor, chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and director of the Neuroscience Institute, noted, “UTHSC is one of the world’s leading centers exploiting novel genomic approaches to explore brain development. Our faculty consistently ranks in the top levels of NIH funding nationally. We congratulate Dr. Hayar, a relatively new addition to our faculty, for continuing to raise the bar of excellence.”

Dr. Hayar received his doctoral degree in neurosciences from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. Prior to joining the UTHSC faculty, he held research positions at the University of Virginia and University of Maryland, and has taught at the University of Louis Pasteur and University of Maryland.