Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Investigator Secures $1.3m to Study Neuro-Immune Signaling

Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Investigator Secures $1.3m to Study Neuro-Immune Signaling

Northwell Health’s research division, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research—the global scientific home of bioelectronic medicine—just secured a multi-year $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how immune signals are transmitted to the brain through the vagus nerve. The study’s principal investigator, Eric H. Chang, PhD, will use novel calcium imaging technology to monitor neural activity in the hopes of discovering new clues into how the immune system communicates with the nervous system.

The Challenge

Inflammation is an important immune response; however, if uncontrolled, it can lead to serious conditions such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other chronic inflammatory disorders. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that connects the brain to many parts of the body and helps transmit immune response signals. In this new study, Feinstein Institutes’ bioelectronic medicine researchers hope to determine how sensory neurons encode and transmit these immune-related signals in the form of neural activity.

“One major goal of our research is to understand how electrical signals, transmitted along nerv...

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