KU-Lawrence Campus (KU-L)
Three-dimensional (3-D) tissue modeling is an emerging field of investigation to elucidate tumor metastasis, cellular and tissue architectures and forces, rational drug design, and in vitro drug testing.
To determine the distance between connexin containing gap junctions using a combination of acceptor photo-bleaching FRET and electron microscopy in a new technique we refer to as correlative FRET (cFRET).
My project focuses on axo-somatic mixed synapses (conjoined electrical [i.e. gap junctions] and chemical synapses) between spinal inhibitory interneurons (i.e., VIa) and spinal motor neurons.
KU-Medical Center Campus (KUMC)
Over 100 million American currently have pre or frank diabetes, and 70% of all diabetics will develop a peripheral neuropathy. My work is examining how physical activity may provide a benefit in prediabetes to rescue the development of a painful neuropathy often seen in patients.
Although migraine headache is one of the most common neurological disorders, the underlying mechanism triggering migraine is still poorly understood. Migraine sufferers often display comorbid pain disorders including interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia or chronic prostatitis, and fibromyalgia.
My dissertation work focuses on tinnitus, the perception of sound when no external stimulus is present. The goal of my project is to understand the underlying mechanisms that produce neuroplastic changes in the central nervous system following sound damage induced tinnitus and to investigate why many individuals with tinnitus suffer from depression.
Chronic pain syndromes are a common clinical complaint, yet no good therapeutic is available. To combat this disparity, I will begin research by looking at the effects of CRF1 and CRF2 antagonists on painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis in a neonatal separation mouse model.
The ketogenic diet and its featured metabolite, ketone bodies, have a well-recognized therapeutic role in the treatment of intractable epilepsy. More recently, ketotherapeutics have gained increased interest as a potential therapy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and to improve brain aging.
My project aims to determine if there is a link between changes in mitochondrial respiration and levels of tau cleavage. Tau is a microtubule associated protein which aggregates into tangles in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
It has been shown that chronic stress alters the functioning of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, but the downstream influences on metabolism and the peripheral nervous system have been poorly studied.