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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

The School of Graduate Studies

Faculty Research in Neural and Behavioral Science

Juan Marcos Alarcon, Understanding how the brain changes with experience is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Our research projects attempt to address this question by characterizing how neuronal and synaptic circuit function changes by experience-driven neural activity.

Alison E. Baird, Studying the predictors of clinical and tissue outcome after stroke and predictors of stroke risk. Methods used include neurovascular imaging (MRI, MRA, and CT) and cellular and molecular profiling of the peripheral blood (gene expression profiling and flow cytometry). Development and evaluation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for stroke.

Randall L. Barbour, Optical tomographic imaging methods for the evaluation of tissue function.

Frank C. Barone, Basic scientific study of Cerebrovascular dieases with focus on ischemic stroke, vascular dementia and trauma; Development of animal disease models that can translate well to man and will facilitate our understanding of disease biology, pathology and signaling, and biomarkers in order to impact drug discovery and advances in therapeutic interventions; Persue close collaborations with Clinical Researchers and Neuroscientists to help make Translational Medicine a reality.

Peter Bergold, Analysis of the pathophysiology of neuronal disorders.

Riccardo Bianchi, What are the mechanisms of altered plasticity associated with epilepsy, Fragile X mental retardation, and Down syndrome? We study the glutamate- and acytylcholine-mediated modulation of intrinsic and synaptic properties in hippocampal neurons and mouse models of these disorders.

Andrea Bibbig, Computational Neuroscience. Investigation of the mutual interactions of different brain oscillations (beta oscillations, gamma oscillations and very-fast oscillations) during normal and pathological brain activity, plasticity of different kinds of synapses (chemical excitatory and inhibitory synapses and electrical synapses), and how oscillations and plasticity influence each other and the functional consequences this interaction has for normal and pathological brain activity.

Ivan Bodis-Wollner, High frequency (gamma) changes in the EEG are related to saccadic eye movements performed voluntarily or cued by different auditory and visual stimuli or without eye movements (covert visuo-spatial attention).

Jeremy Coplan, Nonhuman primate studies which examine the long-term biobehavioral impact of early life stress incurred by the offspring of mothers exposed to unpredictable foraging; neurohistological correlates of antidepressant action in primate models of mood and anxiety disorders, with a specific focus on hippocampal neuroplasticity.

Howard A. Crystal, Clinicopathologic and epidemiologic studies of memory and cognition in normal aging and dementia.

John Danias, Gene expression and gene therapy in glaucoma; neuroprotection; neuroregeneration.

Diana L. Dow-Edwards, Developmental toxicity of Drugs of Abuse including cocaine and THC; effects on cerebral function, behavior and cognition in the rat.

Oleg Evgrafov, Genetics and genomics of psychiatric disorders. Gene expression profiling using massively parallels sequencing. Cellular models of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Steven E. Fox, Hippocampal EEG rhythms and location-specific firing of cells.

Alan R. Gintzler, Biochemistry of addiction/narcotic tolerance; G protein signaling cascades; gender-dependent (e.g. estrogen, progesterone) regulation of opioid activity and pain sensitivity.

Alejandro Iván Hernández, Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating long-term synaptic plasticity and the alterations of those mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative disorders and drug addiction.

Sabina Hrabetova, Biophysical properties of the brain extracellular space important for neurotransmission, neurotrophic effects, drug delivery, general electric activity, and basic cellular homeostasis. Focus: role of glia and extracellular matrix. Interdisciplinary approach: imaging, electrophysiology, computer modeling.

Xian-Cheng Jiang, Creation and development of mouse models (transgenic and gene knock-out) for the study of the relationship between lipid metabolism and heart disease. Use of transgenic approach to perform functional studies of two lipid transfer proteins: phospholipid transfer and cholesteryl ester transfer proteins.

Ira Kass, Mechanisms of hypoxic and ischemic neuronal damage. Of particular interest are the cellular electrophysiologic, biochemical and molecular biological changes that occur during ischemia and how anesthetics and other pharmaceutical agents influence these changes.

Richard Kollmar, Molecular genetics of otolith formation in the zebrafish. Regeneration of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in the rat.

John Kubie, Rat hippocampus: navigation, learning and memory.

Jenny Libien, Function of retinoids (vitamin A and its analogues) and retinoid transport proteins (RBP, TTR) in the central nervous system. The birth and survival of new neurons in the adult dentate gyrus in neurodegenerative diseases.

Daisy Lin, Early-life brain development and its vulnerability to drug exposure; Mechanisms underlying anesthetic neurotoxicity to the developing brain, including microRNAs, excitatory-inhibitory imbalance, GABA and the reward circuitry; The effect of environmental factors on brain development and its relevance to increased risk of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Douglas S.F. Ling, Properties of cortical inhibitory circuits and the regulation of excitatory transmission; mechanisms of epilepsy and synaptic plasticity; changes in cortical physiology following traumatic brain injury.

William W. Lytton, Computer modeling of neurons and neural networks: applications to epilepsy, stroke, and learning and memory.

Steven Macknik, Studies in visual perception, physiology, and microscopic blood flow using a variety of techniques spanning human behavior to advanced microscopy. The topics include basic visual, oculomotor, and cognitive processing—and the underlying circuits—with emphasis on neural diseases such as blindness, epilepsy, macular degeneration, and Alzheimers, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, and depression.

Susana Martinez-Conde, Our lab’s research bridges perceptual, oculomotor, and cognitive neuroscience, with a particular focus on the neural bases of illusory perception. Our recent work with Parkinsonian patients received the EyeTrack Award, a global prize given to a single publication in eye movement research. The lab also engages in significant science communication and outreach. Prof. Martinez-Conde is the 2014 recipient of the Science Educator Award, given by the Society for Neuroscience to an outstanding neuroscientist who has made substantial contributions to educating the public.

Lisa Merlin, Electrophysiology; role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in epilepsy; network properties of the hippocampus; signal transduction mechanisms in epileptogenesis.

Hillary Michelson, Functional connectivity, morphology, and development of hippocampal inhibitory circuitry; interneuron function in epilepsy.

Herman Moreno, Use of fMRI, electrophysiology, and calcium imaging to study brain metabolism in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Nicholas J. Penington, Neuropharmacology of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons: patch clamp studies of 5-HT receptor modulation by protein kinases, signal transduction mechanisms, serotonergic drug effects on ion channels.

Katherine L. Perkins, Synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, primarily GABAergic transmission. Current focus is on the depolarizing GABA response and interneuron networks.

Alan P. Rudell, Electrical brain responses to recognizable images (words, pictures, faces) are recorded and related to acquired perceptual skills (e.g. reading ability).

Todd C. Sacktor, Protein kinase C isozymes, PKMζ, long-term potentiation, long-term depression, synaptic plasticity, hippocampus, learning and memory.

Frank R. Scalia, Development of the visual system and regeneration of the optic nerve; role of Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and their ligands in the visuotopic map formation.

Sheryl S. Smith, Investigation of neurosteroid effects on GABA-A receptor plasticity and its relevance for altered hippocampal physiology, as well as anxiety and epilepsy.

Armin Stelzer, Hippocampus, synaptic plasticity, role of synaptic inhibition, regulation of GABA receptor.

Mark G. Stewart, Physiology and pathophysiology of limbic neurons and limbic neuron circuits.

Gladys N. Teitelman, Cellular and molecular analysis of pancreatic islet cell differentiation; isolation of insulin precursor cells and characterization of the signals that control their maturation.

Henri Tiedge, Regulation of neuronal gene expression; RNA transport in neurons; mechanisms of local protein synthesis; long-term synaptic plasticity; Alzheimer's disease; tumor biology.

Keith Williams, Structure, function, pharmacology, and regulation of glutamate receptors.

Robert K.S. Wong, Calcium and intercellular signaling and circuit organization of the hippocampus. 


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