Mechanisms by which early life stress influences adult learning and memory:
- Stress effects on synaptic and circuit development in hippocampus and hypothalamus
- Programming effects of early stress on gene expression
- Translating between rodent and human studies
Mechanisms by which early-life enriched sensory input enhances cognitive and emotional outcomes:
- In vivo and in vitro models
- Master regulators, transcriptional and epigenetic processes
- Sex differences
Mechanisms by which the normal brain becomes epileptic:
- Epilepsy after experimental long febrile seizures
- Inflammation , MicroRNAs
- Transforming normal neurons into ‘epileptic’ ones: generation of an epileptic network.
- Biomarkers for epilepsy
- Mechanism driven interventions
Methods Used in the Laboratory:
- Transgenic and viral-mediated control of gene expression in time and space.
- In vitro organotypic slice cultures (hippocampus, hypothalamus)
- Live multiphoton imaging of spine and synapse dynamics
- In vivo, high-field rodent MR imaging, including DTI, fMRI
- Epigenetics: chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), ChIP seq, RNA seq, gene network analyses, informatics.
- Molecular: rtPCR, ISH, Co-IP, microRNAs, pulldowns, pharmacological pathway dissection
- Cognitive and emotional behavioral tasks