John A. Olschowka, Ph.D.

John A. Olschowka, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-8238
Lab: (585) 275-1585
Fax: (585) 756-5334

Research Bio

RECENT RESEARCH:



Models of CNS inflammation.

The inflammatory processes that follow injury (trauma, stroke, seizure, infection, radiation, etc.) to the central nervous system (CNS) dramatically amplify the damage. For example, reduction of the inflammatory process following stroke has been shown to limit the volume of damaged tissue by 2/3's. Our laboratory is currently working to better understand the mechanisms of inflammation within the CNS. Currently we are examining several clinically relevant areas of CNS inflammation, most in collaboration with Dr. Kerry O'Banion. First, we are using a model of damage to the CNS caused by gamma-irradiation. Treatment of brain tumors with radiation leads to long-term damage of the normal brain tissue, damage caused by a massive inflammatory response. This model will be expanded beginning in the fall of 2008 by a NIAID funded pilot project as we examine the effects of combined injuries, radiation and a peripheral injury, on the functioning of both brain and lung. In a related model, we are examining the effect of cosmic radiation (similar to the exposure received in space) on the CNS. Third, using several transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease coupled with a model of chronic inflammation, we are exploring the possible beneficial effects of inflammation in the clearing of Aß plaque pathology. Fourth, in a project begun this year, we are examining the potential brain injuring effects of underwater sound exposure. This project funded by the Office of Naval Research is interested in the use of sound exposure as a non-lethal weapon. Our final and newest area of research examines late appearing cytokines following brain injury. While suppression of acute pro-inflammatory cytokines has worked well in animal models, they have not proven useful clinically. We are now examining the late appearing cytokine HMGB-1 and its receptors (RAGE, TLR4 and TLR2) in a model of traumatic brain injury. With a better understanding, we hope to limit the inflammatory response and thus improve the effectiveness of therapy. Using techniques such as light microscopic immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization, computerized image analysis, quantitative real time RT-PCR, and the immunohistochemical methods for detection of apoptosis, we have begun to unravel the cell types, cytokines, chemokines, apoptotic genes, and adhesion molecules involved in CNS inflammation.
With the aid of a pilot grant from the Schmitt Foundation, we are now beginning to examine to role of CNS inflammation in the development of seizure activity. Following a variety of inflammation models (radiation-induced, Alzheimer's transgenic mice, peripheral inflammation, etc), we have begun to record EEG's from mice to determine alterations in susceptibility to seizure activity.

PUBLICATIONS:
Cherry JD; Williams JP; O'Banion MK; Olschowka JA "Thermal injury lowers the threshold for radiation-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive dysfunction." Radiation research. 2013; 180(4):398-406.
Ghosh S; Wu MD; Shaftel SS; Kyrkanides S; Laferla FM; Olschowka JA; O'Banion MK "Sustained interleukin-1ß overexpression exacerbates tau pathology despite reduced amyloid burden in an Alzheimer's mouse model." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2013; 33(11):5053-64.
Cherry JD; Liu B; Frost JL; Lemere CA; Williams JP; Olschowka JA; O'Banion MK "Galactic cosmic radiation leads to cognitive impairment and increased aß plaque accumulation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." PloS one. 2012; 7(12):e53275. .
Hein AM, Stasko, MR, Matousek SB, Scott-McKean JJ, Maier SF, Olschowka JA, Costa AC, O'Banion MK. Sustained hippocampal IL-1ß overexpression impairs contextual and spatial memory in transgenic mice. Brain Behav. Immun. 2009, PMCID: PMC2818290

Awards & Honors (Local)

Commendation for Excellence in Medical Education | University of Rochester 2012
Commendation for excellence in medical education | University of Rochester 2004
Commendation for excellence in medical education | University of Rochester 2003
Commendation for excellence in medical education | University of Rochester 2001
Commendation for excellence in medical education | University of Rochester 2000
Commendation for excellence in medical education | University of Rochester 1996
Student (undergraduate) Advisor of the Year | University of Rochester 1995
Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Education | University of Rochester 1994
George W. Merck Dean's Teaching Scholar Award | University of Rochester 1992
Outstanding Teaching Award, Graduate Division | University of California 1978
Sigma Xi Honor Society 1974

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 104 available »

2014 Sep
Rivera-Escalera F, Matousek SB, Ghosh S, Olschowka JA, Kerry O'Banion M. "Interleukin-1? mediated amyloid plaque clearance is independent of CCR2 signaling in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." Neurobiology of disease. 2014 Sep; 69:124-33. Epub 2014 May 27.
2014 Jul
Sweet TB, Panda N, Hein AM, Das SL, Hurley SD, Olschowka JA, Williams JP, O'Banion MK. "Central nervous system effects of whole-body proton irradiation." Radiation research. 2014 Jul; 182(1):18-34. Epub 2014 Jun 17.
2014
Cherry JD, Olschowka JA, O Banion MK. "Neuroinflammation and M2 microglia: the good, the bad, and the inflamed." Journal of neuroinflammation. 2014 11:98. Epub 2014 Jun 03.
2013 Oct
Cherry JD, Williams JP, O'Banion MK, Olschowka JA. "Thermal injury lowers the threshold for radiation-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive dysfunction." Radiation research. 2013 Oct; 180(4):398-406. Epub 2013 Sep 23.
2013 Aug
Wu MD, Montgomery SL, Rivera-Escalera F, Olschowka JA, Kerry O'Banion M. "Sustained IL-1? expression impairs adult hippocampal neurogenesis independent of IL-1 signaling in nestin+ neural precursor cells." Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2013 Aug; 32:9-18. Epub 2013 Mar 16.

Current Appointments

Associate Chair, Education - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD)
Associate Professor - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD) - Primary

Education

PhD | Anatomy | Univ of Cal Davis1978
MS | Anatomy | Univ of Cal Davis1974
BS | Zoology | Univ of Cal Davis1973

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

John Hopkins University School of Medicine: Research Associate, Department of Neurology. 0
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. 1980