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David Linden Lab
The David Linden Laboratory has used both electrode and optical recording in cerebellar slice and culture model systems to explore the molecular requirements for induction and expression of these phenomena. Along the way, we discovered a new form of plasticity. In addition, we have expanded our analysis to include use-dependent synaptic and non-synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar output structure, the deep nuclei.
Our investigations are central to understanding the cellular substrates of information storage in a brain area where the behavioral relevance of the inputs and outputs is unusually well defined. In addition, our investigations have potential clinical relevance for cerebellar motor disorders and for disorders of learning and memory generally.
Utilizing a combination of tissue-based, cell-based, and molecular approaches, our research goals focus on abnormal telomere biology as it relates to cancer initiation and tumor progression, with a particular interest in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) phenotype. In addition, our laboratories focus on cancer biomarker discovery and validation with the ultimate aim to utilize these novel tissue-based biomarkers to improve individualized prevention, detection, and treatment strategies.
Ed Connor Laboratory
The Connor Laboratory focuses on understanding the neural algorithms that make object vision possible. The goal of our research is to explain the neural basis of visual experience and contribute to designs for more powerful machine vision systems and brain-machine interfaces.
Esther Oh Lab
The Esther Oh Lab is interested in developing biological markers for pre-clinical stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our current research involves using transgenic models of AD to develop peripheral injections of monoclonal antibodies against amyloid-beta as a tool to detect a level of amyloid-beta that would be correlative to the amyloid-beta level in the brain.
Andreia Faria's Laboratory focuses on investigating brain functions using MRIs. We develop and apply methods for processing and analyzing diverse MRI modalities in order to characterize distinctive brain patterns and to study multiple conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, and stroke. We use artificial intelligence to develop tools for brain MRI segmentation and quantification, promoting the means to perform reliable and reproducible translational research.
The research goals of the Functional Neurosurgery Laboratory include the development of computational models to understand how brain function is affected by neurological conditions and how this abnormal function might be corrected or minimized by neuromodulation through electrical stimulation. The lab uses data collected from patients during epilepsy monitoring or in the operating room during DBS procedures to construct and calibrate the computational models. The models can be manipulated to explore functional changes and treatment possibilities. The other primary goal of the laboratory is the development of a neuromodulation system that applies stimulation pulses at specific phases of brain oscillatory activity. This technique is being explored in the context of Parkinson's disease as well as memory function, and may lead to less invasive therapeutic treatment system with more effective stimulation.
Dr. Haughey directs a disease-oriented research program that address questions in basic neurobiology, and clinical neurology. The primary research interests of the laboratory are:
1. To identify biomarkers markers for neurodegenerative diseases including HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In these studies, blood and cerebral spinal fluid samples obtained from ongoing clinical studies are analyzed for metabolic profiles through a variety of biochemical, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic techniques. These biomarkers can then be used in the diagnosis of disease, as prognostic indicators to predict disease trajectory, or as surrogate markers to track the effectiveness of disease modifying interventions.
2. To better understand how the lipid components of neuronal, and glial membranes interact with proteins to regulate signal transduction associated with differentiation, motility, inflammatory signaling, survival, and neuronal excitab...ility.
3. To understand how extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from brain resident cells regulate neuronal excitability, neural network activity, and peripheral immune responses to central nervous system damage and infections.
4. To develop small molecule therapeutics that regulate lipid metabolism as a neuroprotective and restorative strategy for neurodegenerative conditions. view less
Healthy Brain Program
The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.
Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view less