Three talented early-career scientists in systems and computational neuroscience have been selected as the first Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain Transition to Independence fellows. The fellowship aims to support neuroscientists from historically underrepresented backgrounds, recognizing that diversity improves scientific innovation and collaboration in the field of cognitive aging.
Each scientist will receive $495,000 over three years to help facilitate their transition to independent research and to provide grant funding at the start of their tenure-track research professorship.
The fellows are Samira Abdulai-Saiku, Frankie D. Heyward and Abhilasha Joshi.
Samira Abdulai-Saiku is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research will focus on the role of the X chromosome in cognitive decline due to aging.
Frankie D. Heyward is a postdoctoral research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. His lab will research how specific diets contribute to impairments in those cell types in the brain that control appetite and cognition.
Abhilasha Joshi is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Life Sciences Research Foundation fellow and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research will expand on her previous work investigating the rapid synchronization between internal cognitive representations of the external world and the rhythm of a rat’s scurrying feet.
The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB) provide similar independence awards. You can read more about the latest class of SCGB fellows here; SFARI will announce its new fellows later this summer.