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Andrea McQuate awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Andrea McQuate, a PhD student working in the Barria laboratory, has been selected to receive a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). Her selection was based on “her outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as her potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.”

The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. The GRF provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

Andrea’s research focuses on the mechanism and functional consequences of Wnt signaling on glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Wnt signaling is an important mechanism controlling embryonic development, cellular differentiation, and programming. Recently, the Barria lab has shown that elements of Wnt signaling are present in the adult brain and acutely regulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission with important consequences for molecular and cellular process underlying learning and memory. Andrea’s research will contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in this important regulation of synaptic transmission.