(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
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
Celebrate 40 years of BestFest, an annual event hosted by Roadrunner Productions as a part of UTSA Homecoming festivities. The event will feature a carnival, food and drink booths, a golf cart parade, firework and live music from Anthem.
Brackenridge Lot 1, Main Campus
Celebrate homecoming as the Roadrunners take on Rice. Come early for the Spirit Walk, tailgating, games, music and food. Stick around for a halftime show with SOSA and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. UTSA.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St., Downtown San Antonio
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization. The conference fee is $45 and includes breakfast, lunch & parking. Free for students and non-academic government employees. Register here: https://www.regonline.com/UTSAdataconference2017.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.