My work mainly focuses on understanding diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) and how secondary mechanisms, such altered CNS metabolism, impact neuronal health and function. My work is focused in two main areas:
- the interplay between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and type 2-diabetes (T2D)
- the understanding and treatment of lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs)
As it relates to the relationship between AD and T2D, my lab uses mouse models to understand how metabolic perturbations, either systemically or within the brain, affect the progression of AD-related pathology, such as the production, clearance, and aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aß) or tau. I use a variety of methods, including glucose clamps, in vivo microdialysis, biosensors, sleep monitoring and neuroimaging techniques, to study the acute effects of metabolic challenges on Aß and tau dynamics within the brain’s interstitial fluid (ISF). I also use chronic studies to investigate what metabolic factors impact the progression of AD-related pathology and functional deficits. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage these findings as therapeutic targets for treating neurodegenerative disorders.
Educational Program Involvement
Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology PhD
Program Research Interest: Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cardiovascular Physiology and Hypertension, Regenerative Medicine, Neuro- and Behavioral Pharmacology, Cancer Therapeutics Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Lifespan Physiology.
Graduate Programs in Neuroscience
Program Research Interest: Addiction and Substance Abuse, Behavioral and Systems Neurobiology, Development and Plasticity, Molecular Neurobiology, Neurological Disease and Aging, Neuropharmacology, Sensory Neurobiology
Molecular Medicine and Translational Science PhD
Program Research Interest: Analytical approaches to molecular and cellular synthesis, structure and function, Genetics and gene regulation, Cell communications, Organ systems, Pathophysiology
Highlighted Training Grants
Alcohol Training Grant - Subcortical and cortical synaptic mechanisms of normal and pathologic sensory and cognitive processing, ethanol withdrawal seizures.