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UCI School of Medicine assistant professor awarded Elterman Research Grant from the Child Neurology Foundation 

Sept. 29, 2021 — Autumn S. Ivy, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Anatomy/Neurobiology at the UCI School of Medicine has been awarded the 2021 Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF) Elterman research grant.

Dr. Autumn IvyAs a PERF grant recipient, Ivy will receive $100,000 over two years to support her research, which seeks to uncover epigenetic mechanisms of exercise in the brain. Her hope is that by increasing our fundamental understanding of exercise neurobiology in the developing brain, this research can reveal new mechanisms, which can then be targeted to buffer the impact of childhood adversity on learning and memory impairments.

 “This research aims to reveal the exact ways in which physical activity can impact brain function in children, and even build resilience, when a child is exposed to chronic stress. There is so much untapped potential in the mechanisms of exercise in the brain, especially the epigenetic mechanisms invoked by exercise, that can change how genes are expressed and cells function within developing brain circuits.” Ivy says.

Ivy will be accepting the award and giving a platform presentation at the Child Neurology Society meeting in Boston on October 1, 2021.

The PERF grant supports clinical or basic science research by a child neurologist or developmental pediatrician early in his/her academic career. 

Ivy is a pediatric neurologist, who specializes in the treatment of general neurological conditions in children, with a specific interest in neurodevelopmental disorders. She earned her medical degree and doctoral degrees at UCI School of Medicine's Medical-Scientist Training Program. She completed a residency in pediatrics and fellowship in child neurology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

The Ivy Lab studies genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the brain engaged by early-life exercise, and whether these mechanisms can be targeted for the treatment of neurocognitive disorders in children.