Thursday, November 19, 2009
Barth and McCartney Named to Eberly Chairs
Alison Barth and Brooke McCartney, both biological sciences faculty members, were named the most recent recipients of the Eberly Family Career Development Professorships in the Biological Sciences. The professorship, which was established in 1993, and divided into two chairs in 1997, was created to help recruit, retain and recognize exceptional biological sciences faculty in the Mellon College of Science.
“The intent [of these professorships] is to celebrate existing achievements, to inspire further achievements and to try to incentivize intellectual capital to remain in this region,” said Robert Eberly III at a reception honoring the recipients on Nov. 19. “These chairs and these women really exemplify what we as a family hoped to achieve when we created instruments like these professorships.”
Barth, an associate professor and member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, studies plasticity in neurons. Her work focuses on understanding how experience transforms the properties of neurons to encode memory. She developed and patented the first tool to locate and characterize neurons activated by experience, a transgenic mouse called the fosGFP mouse. The mice have been licensed to every major pharmaceutical company in the United States and distributed to more than 80 researchers worldwide. Barth also conducts research on epilepsy.
McCartney, an assistant professor, is a cell and developmental biologist who investigates the ways in which cells communicate with each other and how those cellular signals influence cell fate and the organization of the cytoskeleton during development. She studies the basic cellular functions of the human colon cancer tumor suppressor, Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC). Her research has revealed the mechanisms by which APC localizes in a cell, among other characteristics. These findings may provide new insights into cellular function during development and contribute to the understanding of APC’s role in colon cancer initiation.
By: Jocelyn Duffy