Christina A. Sobin

The University of Texas at El Paso, USA


I have an interdisciplinary background with training in child neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, neurocognitive genetics and mental health. During my post-doctoral fellowship I worked with neurologists specializing in Parkinson’s disease, designed and conducted original NARSAD-funded research investigating motor dysfunction and depression, and developed expertise in basal ganglia loop pathways and motor behavior. Later I developed expertise in neurocognitive genetics and cognitive neuroscience while at The Rockefeller University, where I was funded by NIH to conduct longitudinal studies of attention, neurocognition and motor behavior in children with the 22q11 Deletion Syndrome, the hypotheses for which were based on glutamate and GABA irregularities in affected children. My years at The Rockefeller University overlapped the creation of The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and provided me with pedagogical and laboratory experiences in translational science. Our laboratory studies brain and behavior during development. In child studies, we examine neurocognitive sequelae of medical conditions and genetic variants that alter brain function. Medical conditions and genetic variants provide a natural manipulation of brain mechanisms that may be critical for mental function, in particular, working memory, visual attention, inhibitory control, and motor dexterity. Our work is translational so we use results from child studies to guide the development of new animal models. Currently, we are studying effects on brain and behavior of early chronic low-level lead exposure. In child studies, we identified genetic variants that increase low blood lead burden and that predict unique memory and motor deficits in young lead exposed males. In mouse studies, we have quantified loss of microglia in dentate gyrus following early chronic low-level lead exposure and plan to test these effects in a transgenic mouse.

Biography Updated on 5 June 2013

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