Biologist receives $400,000 foundation grant

VANCOUVER – Christine Portfors, associate professor of biology at Washington State University Vancouver, has received a grant of $400,000 from the National Science Foundation.  The grant, which spans over three years, will allow her to continue her research on how complex sounds are processed by the auditory system.

She also examines how age-related hearing loss impacts this process.

In her research of the past 10 years, with generous assistance from both NSF and the National Institutes of Health, she has used both mustached bats and mice as model systems in hearing research.

“These species are ideal because of their rich repertoires of complex species-specific vocalizations,” said Portfors. Her research program is enhanced through strong collaborations with computational neuroscientists and neuroanatomists.

Each year near Halloween, Portfors gives a popular presentation on the myths and realities of bats. The talk is aimed at all ages, and many local children have enjoyed seeing Portfors’ laboratory bats.

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