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Pioneering Rehabilitation

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fellowship Winners Announced

Published October 29, 2013

The Burke Medical Research Institute is pleased to present this year’s Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fellowships to Elena Ivanova, Ph.D., and Disha Gupta, Ph.D.  Awarded annually to senior postdoctoral fellows or instructors at BMRI, the Goldsmith Fellowships are intended to enhance the ability of these early-career researchers to pursue a line of research independent of their advisors.  The award provides $75,000 per year in funding for two years. 

Dr. Ivanova is an Instructor of Cellular Vision and Plasticity at Weill Cornell Medical College whose research focuses on changes in the retina in neurodegenerative diseases.  She will use her fellowship to study the role of transcription factor Nrf2 in protecting the retina against oxidative stress.  Specifically, she aims to develop a mouse model that will allow in situ and in vivo studies of Nrf2 and to elucidate changes in Nrf2-mediated pathways during diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.      

Dr. Gupta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the labs of Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D., and Kathleen Friel, Ph.D., where her research has focused on the therapeutic effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on brain-muscle networks.  She will use her fellowship to investigate the use of tDCS for motor rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy, in particular, how tDCS affects brain networks beyond the motor cortex.  She is planning a clinical study that will use whole brain electroencephalography (EEG) to evaluate changes before and after tDCS therapy.

Fellowship applications were reviewed by senior members of the BMRI Scientific Advisory Board, and the recipients selected based on their proposal’s scientific merit, creativity, innovation, and feasibility over a two-year time period.  Eric L. Shipp, Ph.D., BMRI’s Scientific and Financial Officer, noted that the Board was “impressed by the quality and number of applications” this year and found it “a difficult decision to only choose two.”

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