National Science Foundation awards Dr. Claudio Mello $1M for avian-based research

Dr. Claudio MelloMay 23, 2017

Claudio Mello, Ph.D., professor of behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine, has been awarded $1 million over three years by the National Science Foundation to expand efforts to study the genetic makeup of zebra finches. 

The award will enable Dr. Mello, along with co-investigators at Duke University and Cal Tech, to scale up their efforts to generate transgenic zebra finches. The zebra finch is the most commonly used animal model to study the neural and genetic basis of human speech and language.

Dr. Mello is an international expert on learning and memory, in particular how birds learn to vocalize, and the Mello lab has been involved in cataloguing the brain expression of a large collection of genes in songbirds. Dr. Mello's research interests include neuroethology, molecular neuroscience, vocal communication, vocal learning, central auditory processing, learning and memory, neurogenomics, neuronal and synaptic plasticity, activity-dependent gene regulation, avian physiology, comparative neuroscience, sex steroid actions on the brain and behavior adult neurogenesis.