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The Lau Lab uses a combination of computational and experimental approaches to study the atomic and molecular details governing the function of protein complexes involved in intercellular communication. We study ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), which are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate the majority of excitatory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. iGluRs are important in synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory. Receptor dysfunction has been implicated in a number of neurological disorders.
Research in the Bakker Memory Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition with a specific focus on the mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the changes in memory that occur with aging and disease. We use a variety of techniques including neuropsychological assessments, experimental behavioral assessments and particularly advanced neuroimaging methods to study these questions in young and older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
Through our collaborations with investigators in both basic science and clinical departments, including the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neurology and Public Health, our research also focuses on brain systems involved in spatial navigation and decision-making as well as cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessiv...e-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety. view more
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.
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.
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