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