Neuronal Physiology and Disease

  • Neurodegeneration and Death
  • Addiction
  • Neuronal Regulation
  • Integrative Neurobiology image

Normal brain development and function depends on complex mechanisms that regulate the survival and function of neurons and glial cells. When these mechanisms are perturbed, the resulting neuronal dysfunction and cell death can lead to numerous diseases and disorders including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Opioid receptors, the proteins that bind morphine and heroin, mediate many important neuronal functions, including pain and mood. Alterations of these functions underlie the narcotic addiction process. Likewise, nicotine and other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and methamphetamine, are addictive drugs. Ongoing studies are directed at understanding the mechanisms involved in drug addiction, and in medications development to treat addiction and to minimize the development of drug dependence in patients being treated with an addicting drug. 

 

Jean M. Bidlack, Ph.D.

Jean M. Bidlack, Ph.D.

Pharmacology of brain and lymphocytic opioid receptors.

Ian Dickerson, Ph.D.

Ian Dickerson, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of neuropeptide signal transduction.

Robert S. Freeman, Ph.D.

Robert S. Freeman, Ph.D.

Molecular mechanisms of neuronal death.

Robert A. Gross, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert A. Gross, M.D., Ph.D.

Cellular mechanisms of opioid desensitization and tolerance; mechanisms underlying altered Ca homeostasis in excitotoxic injury; role of growth factors in regulating excitability in epilepsy models.

Haber

Suzanne N. Haber, Ph.D.

The basal ganglia and the rewards circuit.

Gail V.W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Gail V.W. Johnson, Ph.D.

Mitochondrial dysfunction and the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration; the regulation and function of transglutaminase 2; tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease; the role of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease.

Paul J. Kammermeier, Ph.D.

Paul J. Kammermeier, Ph.D.

G protein coupled receptor signaling and modulation of ion channels in neurons.

Tank

A. William Tank, Ph.D.

Regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase gene expression.

 

Neuronal Physiology and Disease