BME’s Jayant named Young Investigator, to receive funding for large-scale mapping project

Krishna Jayant, assistant professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, has been designated a Young Investigator grantee by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSP).
Dr. Krishna Jayant

HFSP research grants are awarded for collaborative projects that actively involve all members of a team. They are intended to allow research teams to bring different expertise to address a common goal identified in the grant application. Jayant, listed as principal applicant, submitted the project titled “Large-scale mapping of intracellular dendritic dynamics during memory formation and replay.” Co-applicant is Laura Ewell, University of Bonn-Medical Center in Germany.

“The HFSP project is meant to foster collaborations between labs that have never worked together before and also encourages young scientists like Laura and myself to take on bold, creative new ideas very early on in our careers,” Jayant said.

Jayant’s expertise for the project lies in nanotechnology and its application to synaptic and dendritic circuitry, while Ewell contributes advanced knowledge in in vivo hippocampal physiology and analysis. The HFSP committee reviewing applications called the project “high risk/high gain” and commented that if it worked, “it would be a frontier breakthrough.”

“Overall,” Jayant said, “our study will unravel how intrinsic basal dendritic properties shape and encode place-field formation in awake head-fixed and freely behaving animals, both during memory encoding and replay.”

Jayant’s application was one of eight Young Investigator Grant applicants approved by HFSP’s Board of Trustees in March 2020.  The board received a total of 702 letters of intent, 85 of which were selected for full application. Jayant’s team will receive $250,000 each year for the next three years.

Learning of his selection, Jayant said he was “absolutely thrilled and delighted. It is one of the most competitive grants to receive as a young investigator.”

Jayant is a member of the Center for Implantable Devices, a Purdue Engineering Preeminent Team, and a member of the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neourscience.