Darlene Mitrano Awarded Five-Year, $300K NIH Grant

Biology professor secures CNU's first National Institutes of Health funding for research on sleep disorders.

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Dr. Darlene Mitrano, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, is the recipient of a five-year, $309,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for her work on sleep disorders. The collaborative project also includes researchers from Emory University and Vanderbilt University.

Mitrano studies neurotransmitters and the areas of the brain that promote arousal, attention and wakefulness in an effort to combat sleep disorders. This wide array of conditions afflicts an estimated 50-70 million Americans.

"The goal of this proposal is to gain a better understanding of how drugs that promote arousal work (for example, illicit drugs such as cocaine or prescription drugs such as Provigil) and to identify new targets and strategies for treatment of sleep disorders," Mitrano says. "My portion of the project focuses on the neuroanatomy of this pathway."

Mitrano specializes in neural disorders, including drug addiction and Alzheimer's disease. She earned her PhD from Emory University.

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