Written by Jack Meltzer
Freeman recently won a five-year Howard Hughes Early Career Award as one of the nation's leading young scientists. He is responsible for identifying 100 fruit fly genes that turned into glial cells to facilitate nerve development, migration and communication, which is important for developing potential therapies for spinal and nerve injury and neurodegenerative disease.
Glial cells do not conduct electrical impulses, but instead surround neurons and provide support and insulation for them in the central nervous system -- the brain and spinal cord. Glial cells are capable of extensive signaling in response to a diversity of stimuli.
Freeman has been widely published in scientific journals. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Eastern and his doctorate from