TU selects Elizabeth Duncan-Vaidya as fourth Fisher endowed professor

Biology professor’s research focuses on neural mechanism of motivational disorders

Elizabeth Duncan-Vaidya

TOWSON, Md. (Aug. 29, 2010)—Elizabeth Duncan-Vaidya, assistant professor of biology, has been selected as the fourth recipient of the Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in Biological and Physical Sciences. Her three-year appointment began on August 25.

As a Jess and Mildred Fisher endowed professor, Duncan-Vaidya will receive a monetary award of $15,000 for each of three years that may be used for a summer faculty stipend, professional travel, research equipment and supplies, and undergraduate student research support.

Duncan-Vaidya teaches courses on human anatomy and physiology. Her research investigates the neural mechanism, or underlying brain circuitry, involved in motivational disorders such as drug addiction and binge eating. She is currently exploring the impact of caffeine exposure on the motivation for sugar in rats, as well as the role of the molecule interleukin-2 in the motivation for alcohol. She reported her research with two undergraduate student co-authors in a 2010 article in the journal Brain Research.

Duncan-Vaidya joined the faculty of Towson University's Department of Biological Sciences in August 2008. She previously served as an Intramural Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. She earned her B.A. degree in biology, magna cum laude, from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

The Jess and Mildred Fisher Endowed Chair in the Biological and Physical Sciences was established in 2005 as part of a $10.2 million gift to the College of Science and Mathematics from the Robert M. Fisher Foundation. Its purpose is to honor the memory of the Fisher family by incorporating research opportunities into the undergraduate learning experience through the support of the scholarly growth of highly promising faculty researchers in the physical and biological sciences who are in the early stages of their careers at Towson.





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