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Dr. Wilma Friedman's research on epileptic seizures could benefit patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Dr. Wilma Friedman is a professor of cellular neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences. In her lab, she and her team explore why epileptic seizures cause brain cells to die off. The benefits of understanding this process may reverberate beyond epilepsy patients to include individuals stricken by strokes and other traumatic brain injuries or possibly degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

With epilepsy, ProNGF, a type of protein, binds to a cell receptor known as P75 and tells the cell to die. Several multimillion-dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health are enabling Friedman’s team to learn more about P75, ProNGF, and the effects of inflammation on brain cells.

Friedman was awarded a 2015 Chancellor's Seed Grant of $50,000 for a project on "regualtion of microRNAs by proNGF."

Friedman has been a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University in Newark since 2001. She has been involved in neurobiological research for more than 30 years at several prestigious institutions including Columbia University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and The Rockefeller University in New York. She is a graduate of The Rockefeller University (Ph.D.) and Oberlin College (B.A.).