apta-trophColeen M. Atkins, PhD, has been selected as the winner of the 2013 BIAA Young Investigator Award, according to a recent news release from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). The award, the BIAA says, is presented based upon originality of research, promise for making significant contributions to the field of brain injury research, publication and meeting-presentation performance, and conducting research independent of the candidate’s mentors.

The release notes that Atkins currently serves an assistant professor at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where she is working with Dalton Dietrich, PhD, studying traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The BIAA reports that Atkins’ nomination for the award emphasizes her establishment of, “a cohesive area of independent research, typified by recent senior author papers in the Journal of Neuroscience and Neuroscience in 2013 and two senior author Journal of Neurochemistry papers in 2012.” Atkin’s work hinging on therapy development targeting the hippocampal signaling pathways involved in cognition and treatments applicable to chronic injury was also noted in her nomination.

According to the release, Atkins’ long-term research objectives center on identifying the cellular signaling mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity during memory formation and determining how these synaptic plasticity mechanisms are altered during TBI.

Under the training of David Sweatt, PhD, Atkins received her doctorate in Neuroscience in 1999 at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas, studying the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. Atkins is also active in Brain Awareness Week outreach activities and volunteers in her local community to promote the understanding of neuroscience to the general public.

Source: BIAA