Biology Professor Georg Zoidl, York’s Canada Research Chair in Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, has received a framed letter of congratulations from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The letter was delivered to Zoidl by York Vice-President Research & Innovation, Robert Haché, Faculty of Health Dean Harvey Skinner and Faculty of Science & Engineering Dean Janusz Kozinski.
Above: from left, Faculty of Health Dean Harvey Skinner; VP Research & Innovation Robert Haché; Professor and CRC Georg Zoidl; and Faculty of Science & Engineering Dean Janusz Kozinski
“On behalf of the York research community, I am delighted that Dr. Georg Zoidl’s research and appointment as Canada Research Chair in Mollecular and Cellular Neuroscience has been acknowledged by Canada’s Prime Minister through this correspondence,” said Haché. “Professor Zoidl is a highly accomplished, world-class researcher who we look to for leadership in the development of this exciting area of research and York University’s broader research agenda.”
Zoidl’s research examines the functions of nerve cells in the brain and the visual system as a means to understanding overall brain activity in health and disease. The research explores the communication processes in the brain that contribute to disease-causing conditions. Even small changes in communication between these nerve cells might get amplified over a lifetime and will be at the heart of a wide spectrum of diseases.
He is addressing the role of electrical communication in the visual system and the brain using genetically-altered zebra fish; their brains and eyes utilize the basic communication principles found in humans. His research combines high-end imaging tools with careful molecular and cellular manipulations to track how information flows into the brain and eye under healthy and diseased conditions. The research will foster insight into the molecular and cellular basis of epilepsy and could ultimately lead to improved treatment for vision loss.
“I am honored to receive this letter from Canada’s Prime Minister, which recognizes the importance of my research,” said Zoidl. “In Canada, securing and preserving quality of life is highly dependent on an individual’s prolonged and sustained quality of health. With vision loss listed in the top 10 most costly disease groups and approximately 15,500 new epilepsy patients each year, it is important to study the fundamental communication processes in the nervous system from molecules to systems in order to develop preventative health measures.”