Nilay Yapici, assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior, has received a 2018 Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). The grant provides an early career investigator with up to $100,000 for one to two years to support research focused on aging processes and age-related diseases.
The grant will support Yapici’s research using the Drosophila melanogaster fly model to identify behavioral, molecular, and neurophysiological changes in the brain over the lifespan of an adult animal. Her work involves cutting edge technologies in multiphoton imaging, quantitative behavioral analysis, and single cell transcriptomics to observe the mechanisms of the brain that regulate age-related decline.
“The ultimate goal of this study is to understand the basic biology of the aging nervous system, by identifying conserved neural and molecular mechanisms that regulate age-related decline, and eventually translate those findings to other animal models and humans,” said Yapici.
After earning her B.A. in molecular biology and genetics from Bogazici University in Turkey, Yapici earned a Ph.D. in 2008 at the University of Vienna. Her research at Cornell focuses on understanding how animals make behavioral decisions by integrating their physiologic states and external sensory stimuli received from the environment.