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Paula C. Chandler - Winner of Samuel B. Barker Award

The 2005 recipient of UAB’s prestigious Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies was given to Paula C. Chandler, a Behavioral Neuroscience graduate student in the Department of Psychology. Her mentor is Dr. Mary Boggiano, who is also an investigator of the CNRU. With support from a CNRU pilot/feasibility grant and the CNRU’s Core facilities, Ms. Chandler identified pharmacological predictors and neurochemical abnormalities in animal models of obesity and binge eating, models that she also helped to develop. Specifically, her work highlights the long-lasting changes that palatable food, especially when combined with a history of caloric restriction (dieting), can impose on the brain’s normal control of food intake, especially control of food intake mediated by the brain’s melanocortin and monoamine systems. Since some of these neurochemical changes occur in forebrain regions not typically associated with feeding, her work may also help explain the comorbid changes in mood and addictive nature of eating disorders.