Dr. Robert Froemke Named Sloan Research Fellow

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 2:21pm


Robert Froemke, PhD, a member of the Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology was recently awarded a fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Dr Froemke is an assistant professor in the Skirball Institute's Molecular Neurobiology Program and in the Departments of Otolaryngology, and Physiology and Neuroscience,

The fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars “whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars—the next generation of scientific leaders,” the Sloan Foundation said in announcing this year’s fellows.

"Today's Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow's Nobel Prize winners," said Paul Joskow, president of the Sloan Foundation. "These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The Foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers."

Dr. Froemke studies neuroplasticity, how experiences change the brain and how these changes in neural networks then affect behavior. He and his staff perform experiments that aim to reveal how individual synapses are changed by alterations in the patterns of neural activity, neurochemical signaling, and sensory experience. By a combination of electrical recordings from single nerve cells, computational analysis, and behavioral experiments, Froemke's research seeks to discover basic principles and quantitative rules by which neural circuits and synapses develop during childhood and are reorganized in adults, triggered by arousal, reward, and social contact.

The Sloan Research Fellows receive $50,000 over a two-year period to further their research. The fellowships are administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation and are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. Candidates must first be nominated by their peers to qualify and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars. Historically awarded in seven scientific fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics—this year the fellowships were expanded to include awards to eight young researchers working in the ocean sciences.