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Mapping Sex-by-genotype Interactions in Brain Functions

Fatemeh (Simin) Tabassi Mofrad has recently received a project grant (€ 25,000) from LUF/Gratama Foundation for her ideas in investigating sex-by-genotype interactions in brain functions. She has a multidisciplinary research perspective which enables her to look at research issues from different angles. We asked Simin to explain the subject of her project and the related research field:

Fatemeh (Simin) Tabassi Mofrad

“Studies in the field of genetics of cognitive neuroscience (GCN) focus on how genetic variations influence the mechanisms that underlie e.g. higher order cognitive functions. In this context, genetic variation refers to the variation in the order of bases in nucleotides in genes. By sequencing DNA, it becomes possible to detect genetic variation in both coding and non-coding regions of genes, and to see how polymorphisms of particular genes are associated with brain functions. 

Research into sex differences in GCN by using state of the art techniques is receiving more attention and the importance of such studies become even more highlighted with respect to their implications, especially, for neuropsychiatric disorders.

By hypothesizing sex specific effects for some polymorphisms of dopamine-related genes on two executive functions, in my recent project “Mapping Sex-by-genotype Interactions in Brain Functions: Connectivity between Polymorphisms of Dopamine Related Genes and Sexual Dimorphism in Cognitive Flexibility and Inhibition” it becomes possible to provide a reply to how healthy men and women can act differently in these executive functions, due to an interaction between sex and genotype, and how brain functional connectivity, in particular, in dorsal frontostriatal circuits can be influenced."

Once a year the LUF Committee for Academic Expenditure (CWB) awards grants for scientific projects of Leiden University researchers. These grants for academic talent are often an important step towards grants by NWO and other institutions.
Research project grants 2018

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