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Cembrowski Lab Merges Mathematical Thinking with Basic Neuroscience

By January 23, 2019No Comments

A neuroscientist, mathematician, and expert on the hippocampusDr. Mark Cembrowski has a rare combination of skills. Now, at the start of a new year, he begins his career at the University of British Columbia with a newly established lab located in the Life Sciences Centre.

Dr. Cembrowski recently arrived on campus following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Janelia Research Campus at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A rising star in neuroscience, he was recently recognized by the Allen Institute as a Next Generation Leader, only the second Canadian to participate in the program.

He has come to UBC, and to the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, to collaborate with researchers including Dr. Shernaz BamjiDr. Tim Murphy, and Dr. Jason Snyder.

“I’m very interested in memory,” said Dr. Cembrowski, “and fear memory in particular. Our ability to store fear memories is important to our survival, but understanding how the brain processes fear memories may enable us to one day prevent acute event-mediated fear memories as a way to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

PTSD is a mental disorder related to anxiety that can occur as a result of emotional trauma or a traumatic event. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, nearly three million Canadians will experience PTSD over the course of their lifetime. Groups including emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and armed services veterans, as well as refugees and aboriginal people, are at an elevated risk of PTSD. PTSD can affect cognition, decision-making, mood, sleep; physical symptoms ca