Our research is primarily focused on molecular neurobiology, specifically in the areas of brain aging, diabetic retinopathy, and substance abuse. These areas of investigation share a common theme of understanding how stimuli, e.g., the myriad experiences across a lifetime, hyperglycemia with diabetes, chronic exposure to a drug with substance abuse, cause pathological changes to the central nervous system that remain even after the stimulus subsides. The overarching concept behind these questions is that the cells of the central nervous system are extremely long lived and could continue to express an altered phenotype long after any specific stimulus is withdrawn.
Our studies involve the full spectrum from in vivo animal models to large scale 'omic analyses, and bioinformatics. By bringing all of these capabilities into a single team we hope to obtain more biological insight into these questions than would be possible from any of these domains alone.
An area of growing emphasis in our studies is the inclusion of both male and female animal models. Despite the well known sex differences in many human diseases of the central nervous system most studies have only used one sex or the other in studies. In several recent studies we have found that sex differences are commonly found in the brain and retina.