Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Luis A. Mejia, Ph.D., a postdoctoral investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), has been named a 2015 Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow. The announcement was made by the Board of Directors of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
Mejia, who will receive funding for at least two years from the Foundation, works in the laboratory of CSHL Associate Professor Bo Li. Mejia came to CSHL following doctoral training at Harvard University, where he was awarded an NIH NRSA predoctoral fellowship for his research in neuroscience.
“On behalf of the entire faculty, I want to extend congratulations to Luis,” said Dr. David L. Spector, Director of Research at CSHL. “His project is of fundamental importance to understanding behavioral flexibility and has the potential to yield significant insights into the basis of human neuropsychiatric disorders.”
Mejia aims to understand how neural circuits encode behavioral flexibility and how changes in neural activity can give rise to maladaptive, abnormally repetitive behaviors. Such behaviors are seen in illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety disorders. Mejia is establishing a mouse model of obsessive behavior that will enable him to evaluate the role of specific neuronal populations in these behaviors. He will focus on the striatum, a part of the brain important for behavioral flexibility.
The Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award is presented annually to postdoctoral fellows judged to have the highest potential for success in a career in chemistry and the life sciences, and is intended as a catalyst to help with the transition to an independent research career.
The Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award program is an invited program for top tier research institutions across the United States to support postdoctoral scholars who have the highest potential for success in an independent academic career in chemistry and the life sciences. These individuals are expected to become the next generation of leaders and innovators in science, engineering, and technology.
About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu