Xiangmin Xu says the research could lead to new therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s and temporal lobe epilepsy.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Xiangmin Xu, UCI associate professor of anatomy & neurobiology, a five-year, $2.5 million grant to study new neural circuit pathways in a region of the brain associated with learning and memory and epilepsy. He shares the grant with Douglas Arthur Nitz of UC San Diego. The proposed research is part of the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative. Using recent technological advancements, the team will focus on newly discovered neural pathways in the hippocampal formation. This brain structure plays essential roles in learning and memory and spatial navigation, and it’s implicated in many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and temporal lobe epilepsy. The research will address mechanisms of circuit function in the context of specific neural systems and shed light on circuits of the central nervous system by systematically controlling stimuli and behavior.