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Scholar lauded for leadership in neuroscience

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Mark Rasenick

Mark Rasenick was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Photo: Kathryn Marchetti

Mark Rasenick, founding director of the neuroscience program in the College of Medicine, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Rasenick was cited for his contributions to the understanding of neurotransmitter signaling and the biology of mood disorders, and for his advocacy in using science as a tool for international diplomacy.

He is a distinguished university professor in physiology and biophysics and psychiatry.

“Mark has been a leader in the neuroscience efforts of the department,” said R. John Solaro, distinguished university professor and head of physiology and biophysics.

“He was instrumental in obtaining a neuroscience-oriented training grant and in making neuroscience a degree granting program.”

In his study of G protein signaling and the interaction with structural proteins in the brain, Rasenick and his colleagues found evidence that a change in the location of this protein could serve as a biomarker for depression, suggesting molecular and cellular targets for treatment with antidepressants.

A biomarker could make it possible to identify patients with depression through a simple laboratory test. It could also help clinicians determine whether treatment is working.

During 1999 and 2000, Rasenick worked on the staff of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow. He serves on the advocacy committees of several scientific societies for neuroscience, biochemistry and molecular biology, and neuropsychopharmacology.

Rasenick, who earned a Ph.D. in developmental biology from Wesleyan University, joined UIC in 1983 after post-doctoral research at Yale Medical School.

In addition to his research and teaching, he developed UIC’s interdisciplinary graduate program in neuroscience, which he directs with Simon Alford and Daniel Corcos.

This year’s 503 fellows will be honored Feb. 19 at the AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.


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