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November 21, 2017

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of numerous prestigious journals, including Science — has named six UC Santa Barbara professors among its new fellows for 2017.

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July 12, 2017

While much about Alzheimer’s disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease’s progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons. Yet how this protein transitions from its soluble liquid state to solid fibers has remained unknown — until now.

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December 03, 2015

An easy-to-follow, research-based guide to the simple, low-cost choices that give the reader the power to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia; slow the progression of the disease; and mitigate symptoms and improve well-being.

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November 24, 2015

By Rowan Hooper November 23 at 2:42 PM

The town of Yarumal in Colombia is famous, but not for an uplifting reason: It has the world’s largest population of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In Yarumal and the surrounding state of Antioquia, an estimated 5,000 people carry a gene mutation that causes an early-onset form of Alzheimer’s. Half of those people will be diagnosed by age 45, and the other half will develop the disease by the time they are 65.

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November 20, 2015

Human interactions are finely calibrated and many of these interactions are prosocial, that is a social behavior that benefits other individuals or a larger group. The repertoire of prosocial behaviors is vast: How much eye contact we make, how much affection we show, how much concern we feel for the plights of others, what we reveal to others and what we don’t.  In a sense, the motivation for language itself is a prosocial activity. Among humans the degree to which we utilize these social tools is highly variable. At the extremes of the social behavior spectrum are clusters of neurological conditions caused by highly specific mutations.

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November 20, 2015

More than 5 million people in the USA are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. While there is no cure for this common form of dementia, experts say there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s later in life. Neurologist Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik has been researching Alzheimer’s Disease for 35 years. The Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research at UC Santa Barbara, and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute, shares these important tips to help ward off Alzheimer’s.

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Queenan and Kosik
October 22, 2015

An innovative neuroscience research program at UCSB crosses disciplinary lines -

Two years ago, the federal government launched the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, a large-scale partnership between public and private research institutions designed to catalyze discovery and innovation in neuroengineering. Rising to the challenge, UC Santa Barbara has established a campuswide program to foster such collaborative brain research.

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September 01, 2015

Medical research has yet to discover an Alzheimer’s treatment that effectively slows the disease’s progression, but neuroscientists at UC Santa Barbara may have uncovered a mechanism by which onset can be delayed by as much as 10 years.

That mechanism is a gene variant — an allele — found in a part of the genome that controls inflammation. The variant appears to prevent levels of the protein eotaxin from increasing with age, which it usually does hand in hand with inflammation. The findings appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

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May 01, 2015

Read Dr. Kosik's musings on tau over at The Dana Foundation blog "Cerebrum." 

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University of Antioquia Brain Bank Credit: Ken Alltucker
February 15, 2015

In Colombia, where families with a genetic mutation are doomed to face Alzheimer's, a $100 million drug trial is under way. The first question is whether the test can change the families' future. The bigger question is what it will mean for the rest of the world. 

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May 02, 2014

Anthony and Dr. Kenneth Kosik had a chance to talk about Ken’s path to becoming a neuroscientist. It’s a different story than the ones we are used to hearing and offers some new perspectives on what it takes to become a great scientist. They also talk about the approaches Ken uses in his lab to study Alzheimer’s Disease.

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miRNA Primate Cortical Zones
February 27, 2014
  • Primate-specific miRNAs uniquely distinguish VZ and OSVZ compartments
  • miRNAs distinguish internal and external subcompartments of the OSVZ in area 17
  • DE miRNAs target cell cycle, neurogenesis, and developmental disorder genes
  • Emergent miRNAs coevolve with preexisting targets to integrate into gene circuitry
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Photo credit: Alex Kacik
January 22, 2014

Christina Kneuven covered the Kosik Lab's neuroarcheology project tracing the origin of the Colombian Alzheimer's gene mutation for the Campus Confidential section of Mission and State. 

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Community Structure
December 31, 2013

MiRNAs often operate in feedback loops with transcription factors and represent a key mechanism for fine-tuning gene expression. In transcription factor-induced reprogramming, miRNAs play a critical role; however, detailed analyses of miRNA expression changes during reprogramming at the level of deep sequencing have not been previously reported.

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November 19, 2013

Researchers have generally looked for signs of Alzheimer's disease in the whole brain or at the single-gene level. The biggest clues will come from monitoring collections of neurons, says Dr. Kosik. 

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dendritic spine
November 04, 2013

An open-access paper out of the Kosik lab titled Statistical analysis of dendritic spine distributions in rat hippocampal cultures has been identified by BMC Bioinformatics as "highly accessed" since its publication on October 2, 2013. Authored by Aruna Jammalamadaka, Sourav Banerjee, Bangalore S. Manjunath, and Kenneth S. Kosik, the study analyzed population distributions of dendritic spines with regard to their mrophological characteristics and period of growth in dissociated hippocampal neurons.

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Kosik and Lopera
August 14, 2013

Dr. Kosik was the first speaker in the NIH Fogarty Institute's webinar series "Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan." You can watch his 1 hour talk titled "An Alzheimer Gene Crucible in the Far Mountains of Colombia" here.

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Daniela Hartmann Brain Radiograph
July 29, 2013
Patricia Marx of the New Yorker toured brain gyms around the United States and made a stop in Santa Barbara to discuss preventing Alzheimer's and cognitive decline with Dr. Kosik. Click the headline to see his tips.
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Mitragotri and Doyle
July 17, 2013

Imagine an artificial pancreas device that frees diabetics from constant blood glucose testing, nanoparticles that selectively deliver chemotherapy to tumors with minimal impacts to healthy tissue, or brain imaging that detects serious conditions that escape conventional scans. These are only a few of the innovations that have been born from the marriage of biology and engineering at UC Santa Barbara.

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Kosik at Radical Innovations
July 01, 2013

Innovation was the focus at the Radical Innovation Summit held in Washington, D.C., in June that brought together scholars from around the world.

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Ralph Greenspan
June 27, 2013

Ralph Greenspan, one of the original architects of a visionary proposal that eventually led to the national BRAIN Initiative launched by President Obama in April, came to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, June 27, to address the ways in which the challenges of this initiative can be met by both UCSB and UC San Diego, where he is associate director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind.

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Neurofibrillary Tangles
June 26, 2013

Building on research published eight years ago in the journal Chemistry and Biology, Kenneth S. Kosik, Harriman Professor in Neuroscience and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute (NRI) at UC Santa Barbara, and his team have now applied their findings to two distinct, well-known mouse models, demonstrating a new potential target in the fight against Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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primate brain evolution
May 22, 2013

Dr. Kosik will be speaking at a Physics Colloquium on campus. 

May 28, 2013

3:45-5:00 pm

Broida Lecture Hall room 1640

May 07, 2013
The John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation honored Dr. Kosik's contributions to the progression of Alzheimer's research at a luncheon at the Bel Air Country Club on May 7, 2013. The mission of the Foundation is to serve as a venture catalyst to provide critical seed money for novel and promising Alzheimer’s research, generally not funded by the government or pharmaceuticals.
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March 20, 2013
Dr. Kosik is now writing at "Brain Muse" as part of the Science Blog Network. His first post discusses the promise of brain activity mapping.
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January 23, 2013
Our DNA Sequencing Facility has acquired an Ion Torrent Ion Proton sequencer, the first one on a UC campus.
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UCSB Stem Cell Center
October 26, 2012

Campus leaders, dignitaries, scientists, and engineers gathered at UCSB on October 26th to celebrate the completion of a dream: 10,000 square feet of renovated laboratory space devoted to stem cell research. This was the grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting in celebration of UCSB's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, part of the Neuroscience Research Institute. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) contributed to the renovation with a $3.2 million grant that was matched by $3.2 million from UCSB.

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Lopera and Kosik
August 17, 2012

Science magazine discusses three new clinical trials expected to begin next year that will attempt to prevent dementia by treating people at risk for the disease before they develop symptoms. Dr. Kosik is part of the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative (API), which focuses on an extended family in Colombia. 

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Amphimedon queenslandica sponge
June 18, 2012

Kosik Lab scientists turned to the simple sponge to find clues about the evolution of the complex nervous system and found that, but for a mechanism that coordinates the expression of genes that lead to the formation of neural synapses, sponges and the rest of the animal world may not be so distant after all. Their findings, titled "Functionalization of a protosynaptic gene expression network," are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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