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Positive stress - emerging researcher wins prize for stress studies

Wednesday 17 June 2020 4:03pm

Joon Kim BHRC emerging researcher prizeDr Joon Kim from the Iremonger lab has been awarded the 2020 Emerging Researcher Prize of the Brain Health Research Centre (BHRC) of the University of Otago. The prize recognises his recent work on stress neurons in the brain which he presented at a BHRC seminar.

Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons are a central player in the brain’s response to stress. They regulate the release of stress hormones from the pituitary and adrenal glands. Joon developed a methodology which allows to record CRH neuron activity in awake and behaving mice in real time, a feat that has not been achieved before. The recordings allow him novel insights into how the brain responds to stress and how stress levels are regulated and have recently been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

This year’s Emerging Researcher Prize has two winners and Joon shares the honours with Dr Blake Porter from the Department of Psychology.