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Yerkes Researcher Dr. Larry Young Receives McKnight Technical Innovations Award

July 23, 2009

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Emily Rios, 404-727-7732,

Researcher Larry Young, PhD, of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, has received one of four McKnight Technological Innovations in Neuroscience awards. The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience makes the awards annually to help scientists develop innovative research tools to learn about the brain and the diseases that affect it. Each project will receive $200,000 over two years.

Dr. Young was selected for his project “Development of transgenic technologies in prairie voles for dissecting the genetics and neural circuitry of social bonding." The project aims to generate transgenic prairie voles, which are highly social, and identify the genes responsible for individual variations in social behavior. The research will have particular relevance to such disorders as autism and schizophrenia.

The Technological Innovations in Neuroscience Awards support scientists working on novel and unusual approaches that can expand the range of technologies available to the neurosciences. The awards do not support research based primarily on existing techniques. Technologies developed through McKnight support must ultimately be made available to other scientists.

This year’s recipients were selected from more than 83 letters of inquiry.

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include the Emory University School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Rollins School of Public Health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Emory Healthcare includes: The Emory Clinic, Emory-Children's Center, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Wesley Woods Center, and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.5 billion budget, 17,600 employees, 2,500 full-time and 1,500 affiliated faculty, 4,700 students and trainees, and a $5.7 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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