The same nerves that keep a person from crushing a flower or dropping a water glass are teaching scientists something new about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the neurodegenerative disease has no cure, in part because of the difficult nature of studying the affected cells. A discovery led by Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, might make researching the mechanisms of the disease easier.
Harald Sontheimer, who joined Virginia Tech earlier this month to direct a university-wide neuroscience initiative, will hold the I. D. Wilson Chair in the College of Science. That appointment was recently approved by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
In a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists found that our inherent risk-taking preferences affect how we view and act on information from other people.
In a move designed to more closely align medical educators and researchers in the basic sciences, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine has announced a reorganization of its Department of Basic Science. The new unit will be called the Department of Biomedical Science and will be chaired by Michael Friedlander, the school’s senior dean for research. Friedlander also serves as executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and associate provost for health sciences at Virginia Tech.