Awarded in 2009
Home Department: Electrical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Nicholas Melosh (Materials Science & Engineering) and Ricardo Dolmetsch (Neurobiology)
Research Title: Novel Nanoscale Patch-Clamp Arrays for Probing Molecular Mechanisms of Autism
Research Description: Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) cause language and social impairments in children. Gene mutations can cause ASDs by altering signaling pathways of Ca2+ ions in neurons implicated with ASDs. To detect such alterations, the "patch-clamp" technique, which allows for high-resolution current measurements in ion channels, is used; however, low throughput and the destructive nature of the technique prevent observing communications between neurons and long experiment longevity. To mitigate these problems, Noureddine helped to develop novel chip-based patch-clamp arrays where "nanoposts" are nondestructively fused into neuron membranes. This allows the study of long-term genetic-mutation effects and communication abnormalities between neurons.
Noureddine is a senior research scientist and team lead at Intel Research Labs, Intel Inc.