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University of Alberta research program recognized with prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship

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University of Alberta neuroscientist Anastassia Voronova, assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and Canada Research Chair in Neural Stem Cell Biology, has been awarded a prestigious 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship. The two-year, US$75,000 prize is given to early-career scientific researchers who have already made an outstanding contribution to their fields of study.

Voronova is undertaking groundbreaking work to identify how neurochemicals control stem cells in the brain and better understand the ability of these neurochemicals to promote brain regeneration in neurological disorders. Her latest research shows how the brain molecule fractalkine activates neural stem cells to potentially halt and even reverse the effects of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases — diseases for which there is currently no cure. She is also studying how aberrant neural stem cells contribute to the development and progression of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

Voronova follows in the footsteps of two other recent U of A Sloan fellows. Neuroscientist Maria Ioannou received a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2021 for her research on the cellular function of lipids — a group of biological molecules such as fats, oils and waxes — and the role they play in the central nervous system and a variety of disorders. Psychologist Peggy St. Jacques in the Faculty of Science received the award in 2022 for her research on how we form memories, which could shed new light on Alzheimer’s and post-traumatic stress disorder.