Our laboratory utilizes pharmacologic approaches and genetic models to examine how the changes in the neuronal microenvironment e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress affects cognitive function.
My research focuses on Melanocortin-4 receptor, a G-protein coupled receptor involved in appetite control.
My lab is focused on Alzheimer’s disease. Current research is examining the role of diabetes-related disruptions in glucose metabolism and the impact this has on brain function. Evidence indicates that both Alzheimer’s and diabetes involve processes connected to inflammation, which has been another of my longstanding areas of research.
Dr. Bush has focused his research interests on machine learning and control theoretic approaches to real-time human neuroimaging, using both real-time fMRI and fMRI-based neurofeedback to understand and exploit volitional regulation of cognitive processes. By understanding how the human brain decodes and integrates neurofeedback signals into its cognitive control processing, Dr. Bush hopes to optimize neuroimaging studies and develop new control-theoretic diagnostic instruments and treatments for emotional dysregulation and attendant pathologies, such as addiction.
We are actively studying the role of leptin in the regulation of pituitary cells. We have discovered that leptin may be a post transcriptional regulator for target hormones, receptors and transcription factors. Our studies range from whole animal to molecular approaches and a student would get training in a number of complementary protocols. Our studies are translationally relevant to growth, obesity, reproduction, and fetal and neonatal development.
Neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative sequelae resulting from traumatic brain injury. Current research is focused on medical education issues.
Dr. Drew conducts research in the field of Neuroimmunology. Normally, immune activity in the brain is limited. However, in diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and alcohol abuse activated immune cells are observed in the brain. These immune cells produce cytokines which may be toxic to brain cells as well as chemokines which direct cells to sites of inflammation, resulting in neuropathology. Dr. Drew’s research involves modern cellular and molecular biology techniques.
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has active basic and clinical research in the divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, General Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Gynecologic Oncology. Our mission is to create a center of excellence in women’s health to serve the people of Arkansas. Our goal is to expand our research activities by utilizing supportive internal resources and collaboration, and continue to seek external funding.
Research in my laboratory is currently focused on several categories of emerging drugs of abuse, including synthetic cannabinoids (constituents of K2/”Spice” smoking blends), analogues of cathinone (present in “bath salts” preparations), and novel arylcyclohexylamines (related to PCP and ketamine.) In an effort to better understand the biological actions of these emerging drugs of abuse, we use behavioral pharmacology techniques in rodents to compare these compounds with more the well-known drugs of abuse that these emerging drugs are designed to mimic (such as the phytocannabinoid delta9-THC, psychostimulants like MDMA and methamphetamine, and PCP).
Our lab studies central nervous system (CNS) injury mainly in the retina and brain. The lab employs different molecular/cell culture techniques, human tissue samples, and animal studies to model critical disease conditions in these two organs. Among the diseases under study are diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, traumatic optic neuropathy, traumatic brain injury, and stroke. Our studies aim to elucidate the underlying pathological mechanisms in these conditions and identify new therapies that can be translated from bench to bedside to help patients affected by these disease conditions.
Electrophysiology of olfactory bulb and cerebellar neurons - Alcohol research - Rhythmic motor movements such as licking and running - Effects of radiation on neuronal function - Imaging neuronal network - Synchronous bursting of neurons.
By understanding how the healthy brain encodes cognition, Dr. James seeks to translate this technology into patient care and better inform clinical decision-making. Dr. James believes that understanding individual differences in the neural encoding of traits such as craving, impulsivity, and working memory are crucial for understanding how these brain-behavior relationships are disrupted with addiction.
Dr. Johnson’s research work is focused on the early identification of infants at high risk for the development of cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Her KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award project will transform current clinical practice at Arkansas Children’s Hospital by implementing the General Movement Assessment, a low-cost diagnostic tool, to identify Neurodevelopmental Disabilities at an earlier age in high-risk infants.
Our research is focused on understanding the fine-scale neuroanatomy of the human brain, including cortical and cerebellar laminar architecture, in the context of neurodevelopment across the lifespan and in neurological disease. We conduct ultra-high-resolution neuroimaging of the postmortem brain, and we develop and deploy sophisticated analytical tools to push back the boundaries imposed by technological and human factors limitations.
Meso-scale neuroanatomy is a new frontier in neuroscience research; the structural organization of microscopic building blocks (e.g., neurons, glia, etc.) implement the functions of macro-scale regions and networks throughout the brain. However, it is simultaneously impractical to conduct whole brain exploration using destructive micro-scale methods and critical neuroanatomical features are too small for standard macro-scale neuroimaging due to technological and human factors limitations. There is a critical gap in our knowledge of meso-scale neuroanatomy that stems from a mismatch between the scale of critical neuroanatomical features and the power of standard methods to observe them.
Our research is focused on circumventing the limitations of standard neuroimaging methodologies through the use of ultra-high-resolution MR imaging in postmortem specimens. Where typical neuroimaging studies have voxels around 1mm3, our work is focused on relatively large samples at 150μm3. At this resolution we are mapping the laminar architecture of the cerebral cortex, the nuclear structures in subcortical regions of the brain, and the arborization and lamination of the cerebellum. Our goal is to map these structures and how they change across the lifespan and how pathological meso-scale structures contribute to various neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, for example abnormal cortical lamina may be a key pathogenic feature in Huntington’s Disease. In our lab, we combine classic tissue preservation techniques with novel ultra-high-resolution imaging techniques, as well as advanced computational and analytical approaches to explore this relatively untouched are of neuroanatomical research.
The focus of my laboratory (http://eon.wustl.edu) is on the dynamic neural network re-configurations that occur as the brain changes its state under both normal conditions such as sleep, and in abnormal conditions such as induced shifts in conscious awareness (anesthesia) or pathological shifts in cognitive awareness (fluctuating consciousness, sleep parasomnias and neurodegenerative disease states). We have developed the use of simultaneous acquisition of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to help us better understand these shifts in network connectivity and function as the brain shifts state over the course of 24 hours. We have extended our neuroimaging (fMRI) data to examine changes in large-scale functional brain network connectivity with neural state using graph theoretical techniques. As part of the Human Connectome Project, my laboratory worked with a large international team to define the time-varying connection patterns in over 1200 normal adult human subjects (http://www.humanconnectome.org). The laboratory maintains extensive collaborations with other research teams interested in the use of functional network methods in EEG, MEG, fMRI and EEG/fMRI to examine brain dynamics in both health and disease.
My research focuses on cell cycle control, stem cells, cancer stem cells, drug discovery, mRNA translation, and vertebrate development.
I am working on identification of the cellular mechanisms that control cell growth and development. I am particularly interested in the role and regulation of stem cells in neural development and in cancer.
Not accepting students as a major advisor
Dr. Mennemeier uses repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to research and treat clinical disorders like tinnitus and to study normal sensory perception.
Dr. Odle’s research is centered at the intersection of reproduction and metabolism, specifically at the level of the pituitary. The lab is particularly interested in how the metabolic hormone leptin influences the development and function of the gonadotropes (LH- and FSH- secreting cells) in females. Using a combination of transgenic models and molecular techniques, Dr. Odle aims to determine the actions of metabolism on the development of this reproductive pituitary cell network.
Research interests include new quantitative MRI methods and effects of nutrition/obesity on brain development in children.
The overall goal of our research is to develop new antibody-based medications to treat chronic and acute methamphetamine (METH) abuse.
I am a cellular/molecular pharmacologist whose research interests involve understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the addictive states produced by drugs of abuse. Specifically, for over 20 years I have been investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of signal transduction mediated by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) with which drugs of abuse interact, specifically opioids and cannabinoids.
My research focuses on the molecular genetics of longevity and age-associated diseases. I was trained in genetics, and turned to C. elegans as a model system in which to define and characterize genes that govern longevity. Using novel gene-mapping methods we developed, we discovered over 27 highly-significant loci for lifespan, resistance to stresses, and Darwinian fitness.
My main research interests include the use of laser thermal ablation for brain tumors and understanding the immune microenvironment.
The activity of primary sensory neurons is critical for the development and maintenance of persistent pain states. Following peripheral injury, primary sensory neurons show complex activity-dependent plasticity as a result of prolonged noxious stimuli and ectopic discharges. This altered activity in the primary sensory neurons is transmitted to spinal dorsal horn neurons and ultimately to the brain which results in persistent pain in a proportion of patients. While genetic studies have advanced our knowledge of nociceptive pathways, our current understanding does not explain variations in the susceptibility of individuals to the development of this cancer-related persistent pain. Common genetic variations in pain phenotypes show inconsistencies across studies6 and have not facilitated the development of new treatments. Epigenetic variations within the genome are known to cause misregulation of protein at a cellular level which may modulate nociception. My long term goal is to determine the contribution of epigenetic pathways to enhanced pain sensitivity and the establishment of cancer-related persistent pain. Specific research questions that I am eager to explore include (1) the association between altered chromatin structure in the dorsal root ganglion and cancer-related pain, and (2) cell-type specific changes in chromatin accessibility associated with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
Dr. van der Plas leads a federally-funded program of research aimed at characterizing brain development in young children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her research is interdisciplinary and includes neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, and neurochemical markers of brain injury.
The focus of research in my laboratory is centered on CNS development, particularly with regard to the formation and maintenance of myelin.