Awarded in 2010
Home Department: Neurosciences
Faculty Advisors: Carla Shatz (Biology, Neurobiology) and Rona Giffard (Anesthesia)
Research Title: Releasing the brake on synaptic plasticity with MHC Class I
Research Description: Our brains have the remarkable ability to change and learn. The cerebral cortex has intrinsic mechanisms that limit or promote plasticity by converting neural activity into lasting structural changes at synapses. Jaimie considers the model that, in neurons, two major histocompatibility complex class I genes, Kb and Db, signaling via the innate immune receptor PirB, act as a brake on cortical plasticity. The goal of her research is to “release the brake” in mutant mice that lack these molecules and to examine if it is possible to not only increase cortical plasticity but also to promote faster recovery following acute cortical injury.
Jaime is a Managing Research Scientist on the Global Burden of Disease Study at the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.