Graduate student Gabriela Carrillo, receives highly competitive NIH award to fuse immunology and neuroscience research
Graduate student Gabriela Carrillo, earned a competitive six-year $445,000 National Institutes of Health grant that will fund her remaining doctoral and postdoctoral training. Carrillo started as a research associate in her mentor's lab Michael Fox, where she studied developmental neurobiology for three years before starting graduate school.
Carrillo recently first-authored a study published in GLIA that described how the parasite impacts brain cell function. The study, led by Fox, showed that when the parasite invades neurons, a type of immune cell in the brain, called microglia, do something peculiar: they wrap around neurons, impeding their ability to receive inhibitory signals. Building on that discovery, Carrillo is examining the role of immune molecules during infection. The researchers want to know if these molecules play a role in signaling microglia, spurring the immune cells to remove inhibitory synapses or influence synaptic loss.