Jacqueline Paniccia, a graduate student in Behavioral and Integrative Neuroscience, is the recipient of the 2018 King Research Excellence Award.

This award honors the late Dr. Richard King, a Professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, for his many contributions to our department over the years. This award recognizes research excellence.

Jacqueline is currently working towards her doctoral thesis investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying context-heroin associations that drive heroin-conditioned responses. Focusing on the role of hippocampal astrocyte and IL-1 signaling, she is examining the molecular mechanisms mediating heroin-conditioned peripheral immune suppression. With the funding provided by the King Award, Jacqueline will examine how heroin associated stimuli alter IL-1 mRNA and protein expression in hippocampal astrocytes. Further, she will directly manipulate astrocyte signaling during behavior and examine the consequence for IL-1 signaling. The King Award will fund Jacqueline’s research by providing her the opportunity to employ innovative molecular and chemogenetic techniques in combination with state-of-the-art analysis software.

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