(November 15, 2012)

Neuroscience alumnus awarded prestigious training grant

SHREVEPORT, LA — Alumnus Mark Moehle '10 has received a prestigious National Institute of Health training grant, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, to complete his pre-doctoral work. Moehle is pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Mark Moehle

"I was honored to receive funding," said Moehle. "The grant application process for NIH funding is extremely competitive, especially with recent budget cuts."

Moehle's research focuses on how Parkinson's Disease develops and progresses. He is working to gain an understanding of how mutations in a protein called LRRK2 lead to Parkinsons. His research has already shown that LRRK2 may lead to altered immune responses.

Moehle recently presented some of this research at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting. SfN is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to advancing understanding of the brain and nervous system. This year marked the second time that Moehle had presented at the SfN meeting—his first opportunity was while still attending Centenary.

A neuroscience major, he also obtained a research position at LSU Health while still an undergraduate, gaining valuable research experience in the process.

"My Centenary experience definitely prepared me for graduate school," said Moehle. "Several of my graduate classes seemed like review of what I learned in Dr. Greg Butcher's classes—making the transition to graduate school a lot easier."

Moehle is currently in his third year of graduate school at UAB. In 2010, he was awarded the UAB Howard Hughes Medical Institute Med-Grad Fellowship, which accepts only eight highly motivated and academically qualified applicants.