Dr. Abraira recently appeared in articles which were published by Harvard Medicine and the Daily Beast. The picture shown above illustrates two distinct types of interneurons (highlighted in red and green) located in the upper spinal cord. You can learn more about these pieces using the links below:
April 2020: Coronavirus Has Killed the Power of Touch. How Do We Reconnect?
September 2020: The Beauty of Touch
July 2015: The Secret Social Power of Touch
NPR WAMU: “Reaching Out: The Power of Touch in a Socially Distant Tim
Dr. Abraira recently had the opportunity to speak about her work with various radio organizations, including CBC, NPR-WAMU, and BBC. The sense of touch is now more important than ever, especially as physical distancing and quarantines are causing "touch isolation." You can learn more about these appearances using the links below:
April 2020: How to stay in touch with our basic senses in isolation
May 2020: Reaching Out: The Power of Touch In A Socially Distant Time
August 2020: The science of affectionate touch, from the skin to brain
Congratulations to all the hardworking members of the Abraira Lab - recipient of the 2019 Whitehall Foundation Grant! This competitive program assists United States neurobiology animal research - specifically concerning sensory, motor, and other complex neural mechanisms - with respect to behavioral output.
Having applied as a nascent institution, the Abraira Lab is humbled to accept this award - which will aid in our odyssey to explore the body's largest spatial sense.
Having applied in its inaugural year, Abraira Lab is honored to announce it has been selected by the National Advisory Committee of The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences to be named 2019 Pew Scholars Lab.
Founding Abraira Lab member, graduating senior, and outstanding undergraduate researcher Melissa Gandhi was yesterday awarded the Henry Rutgers Scholar Award - the highest institutional honor awarded to an undergraduate thesis. Melissa's treatise - beyond 30-pages - fundamentally characterized the lineage and glycinergic characteristics of Parvalbumin Positive (PV+) Interneurons in the Deep Dorsal Horn: how they process touch and modulate locomotion. As a Henry Rutgers Scholar, Melissa's work will go down in history - marked as a noncirculating publication in the Rutgers Library. Melissa was also accepted in the up-and-coming Rutgers Genetics graduate program. Congratulations, Melissa, for your instrumental work - may it lay down the foundations for your successful career, just as you laid down the foundations for this lab, and exemplary expectations for our other stellar undergraduates. Keep in touch!
Congratulations to Nofar Engelhard! Abraira Lab Graduate Student, and leader of the Parvalbumin Project; Nofar has been awarded the prestigious $60,000 State of New Jersey Commision on Spinal Cord Research Grant, with outstanding commendation. Nofar will use said funding towards her endeavor to characterize the novel parvalbumin spinal cord neuron's role in both locomotive control and spinal cord injury recovery; continuing her stellar work through 2021.
Collaborator, Johns Hopkins Professor Emeritus Professor, and long-standing mentor to Victoria Abraira - Larry Schramm, PhD, visited the Abraira Lab on Thursday, April 18th. Well published and versed in spinal cord injury, Dr. Schramm paid his first visit to our housing facility - the W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience - and was able to discuss unpublished Abraira Lab findings with Dr. Abraira and Keck Center founder; Wise Young, MD/PhD.
Moreover, Dr. Schramm offered encouraging undivided attention, support, and expertise to our collection of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows; namely Chris O'Brien - an outstanding rotating graduate student who presented his findings in a lab meeting. Thank you, Dr. Schramm for your uncharacteristic kindness and scientific support.
Welcome, Manon Bohic to the Abraira Lab! Manon - a new postdoctoral fellow from the IBDM | Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille, France. Manon brings excellent expertise in mouse genetics to our facility - equipped with "supermice" able to ask her questions targeting social touch. Within her few weeks here, Manon has hit the ground running - imaging oxytocin-expressing neurons in the spinal cord for three-dimensional reconstruction; pivotal for understanding the innate social network that has long pre-existed Facebook or Twitter.
Here's to an excellent career and start!
It is our great joy to officially welcome Abraira Lab's first two graduate students: Nofar and Aman. Both bring unique skillsets and passionate goals to flesh out the neuroscience behind touch. Read more about them on our Graduate Student page.
Today, Abraira Lab held a collaborative Noldus training session for Etho Vision XT 13.0, a software package allowing unprecedented computational video tracking and data acquisition from animals. Interested researchers from neighboring labs and variegated backgrounds congregated to learn about how the lab's new behavioral annex will help them in their own analyses. At lunch, members chatted with pizza in the Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience.