Meet a Roadrunner: Lamine Bouamrane is a researcher who wants to help people with mental disorders
(June 29, 2016) -- Meet Lamine Bouamrane. This postdoctoral fellow came to UTSA because he wanted to learn from the best.
Born and raised in Algeria, Bouamrane earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in genetics and neuroscience at Marseille University in France. Networking in France brought him to UTSA.
"I've always been interested in understanding how the brain works, especially how it generates consciousness and behaviors, and how it processes, codes and stores information. Of course those are difficult questions to address, so I decided to focus on dopamine neurons that are known to be central to these phenomena," Bouamrane said. "My old boss in Marseille told me if I wanted to be close to this field, the right guy to meet is Dr. Carlos Paladini."
Under Paladini, associate professor of biology and an investigator in the UTSA Neurosciences Institute, Bouamrane is studying dopamine neurons to determine how they work and how they influence behavior. He hopes to better understand brain function and dysfunction.
"Using various methods, we are trying to figure out what are the mechanisms and the parts of the brain that control the activity of neurons that release dopamine," said Bouamrane.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior and motor control. Alterations in dopamine signaling contribute to brain disorders such as addiction, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
"Understanding how these neurons work could allow us to control their activity, and therefore could lead to new efficient ways of helping people suffering from these diseases," said Bouamrane.
Helping people with these diseases hits close to home for Bouamrane.
"I'm really interested in schizophrenia because I have a lot of cases in my family," Bouamrane said. "If I can understand these disorders, I can go further in trying to help people."
At UTSA, Bouamrane is surrounded by a team of top-tier researchers, like Paladini and Charles Wilson, who holds the Ewing Halsell Chair in Biology and directs the UTSA Neurosciences Institute.
"This is such a great opportunity because I'm working with the smartest people I've ever met," Bouamrane said. "I'm learning a new way of thinking and observing from Dr. Paladini. Dr. Wilson is the best scientist I've ever seen in my life. He is impressive and I'm really happy to be here in this environment, and work with these people."
Despite living thousands of miles from his home country, Bouamrane has found a new home at UTSA.
"The campus is alive. It's always moving," he said.
Now he hopes to encourage his girlfriend, who's working on her Ph.D. in neuroscience in France, to come to UTSA after she graduates.
"I'm telling her to come here because I want her to succeed," said Bouamrane. "I tell her about the Tier One education at UTSA. "
Learn more about the UTSA College of Sciences
Learn more about UTSA dopamine research
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
The best way to learn what UTSA has to offer is to experience it for yourself. Come to our Open House and see all that UTSA has to offer. The day features admissions and financial aid workshops and presentations, campus tours and much more.Various Locations, Main Campus
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An FBI subject matter expert will discuss the threat to U.S. technology and public sector from foreign adversaries, specific technologies sought and vectors used to illicitly obtain them, how to best safeguard intellectual property.Durango Building (DB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
Why just leap when you can dash? The Alumni Association’s 36th annual Diploma Dash 5K and City Championship is a great opportunity to run or walk for a great cause: scholarships for UTSA students.Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.H-E-B Student Union, Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA’s first Wellbeing Fair is a part of the President’s Initiative of Enriching Campus Wellbeing. UTSA is committed to the well-being of each member of the campus community and recognizes that numerous factors contribute to overall wellness: physical and mental health, diet and nutrition, physical activity, stress management and self-care, social behaviors and more. The fair will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in well-being activities, obtain well-being information and learn about available services. Participants will become more competent in making healthy decisions to take a more proactive approach in their own well-being.Paseo Principal, Student Union, Main Campus