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 work focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which ketone bodies and the ketogenic diet alter nervous system and cellular physiology. In doing so, we will begin to understand exactly how ketone bodies provide their neuroprotective benefits and may develop new therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.
Ongoing Research Support:
KUMC T32 Neurological & Rehabilitation Sciences Fellow
“Examining the effects of ketone bodies and fatty acids on distinct nervous system cell populations.”
Role: Full-time T32 Fellow Amount: $64,076/year July 2016 – July 2019
Grant ID: 5T32HD057850-08
Paul G. Roofe Fellowship in Neurological Discovery
“Investigating the role of mitochondria in tauopathy and PSP pathophysiology.”
Role: Designated Research Fellow Amount: $25,000 Oct 2015 – Oct 2016
Completed Research Support:
UCI SURP Fellowship
“Neuron-glia interactions in the developmental auditory brainstem”
Role: Undergraduate Research Fellow Amount: $1,500 2010
Academic year joined the NS program: 2015
Mentor: Russel Swerdlow, M.D.
Mentor's Academic Department: Moleculer & Integrative Physiology, KUMC
Wilkins HM, Koppel S, Carl SM, Ramanujan S, Weidling I, Michaelis ML, Michaelis EK, and Swerdlow RH. (2016) Oxaloacetate enhances neuronal bioenergetic fluxes and infrastructure. J Neurochem. 137(1): 76-87.
Selfridge JE, Wilkins HM, E L, Carl SM, Koppel S, Funk E, Fields T, Lu J, Tang EP, Slawson C, Wang W, Zhu H, and Swerdlow RH. (2015) Effect of one month duration ketogenic and non-ketogenic high fat diets on mouse brain bioenergetic infrastructure. J Bioenergetic Biomembr. 47(1-2): 1-11.
Wilkins HM, Harris JL, Carl SM, E L, Lu J, Selfridge JE, Roy N, Hutfles L, Koppel S, Morris J, Burns JM, Michaelis ML, Michaelis EK, Brooks WM, and Swerdlow RH. (2014) Oxaloacetate activates brain mitochondrial biogenesis, enhances the insulin pathway, reduces inflammation and stimulates neurogenesis. Hum Mol Genet. 23(24): 6528-41.
Dinh ML, Koppel SJ, Korn MJ, and Cramer KS. (2014) Distribution of glial cells in the auditory brainstem: normal development and effects of unilateral lesion. Neuroscience. 10; 278: 237-52.
Korn MJ, Koppel SJ, Li LH, Mehta D, Mehta SB, Seidl AH, and Cramer KS. (2012) Astrocyte-secreted factors modulate the developmental distribution of inhibitory synapses in nucleus laminaris of the avian auditory brainstem. J of Comp Neurol. 520(6): 1262-77.
Korn MJ, Koppel SJ, and Cramer KS. (2011) Astrocyte-secreted factors modulate a gradient of primary dendritic arbors in nucleus laminaris of the avian auditory brainstem. PLoS One. 6(11): e27383.
Koppel SJ, Wilkins HM, Hutfles LJ, Weidling IW, Tan E, Slawson C, and Swerdlow RH. (March 2016) Ketone bodies increase respiration, induce hyper-acetylation, and down-regulate the mitochondrial biogenesis pathway in vitro. Oral Presentation. KUMC Student Research Forum. Kansas City, KS, USA.
Koppel SJ, Wilkins HM, Hutfles LJ, Weidling IW, and Swerdlow RH. (March 2016). Investigating diet-based therapies as a treatment for dementia. Oral Presentation. KUMC Student Research Forum. Kansas City, KS, USA.
Korn MJ, Koppel SJ, and Cramer KS. (September 2012). Astrocyte-secreted factors modulate a gradient of primary dendritic arbors in nucleus laminaris. Poster presentation. Southern California Hearing Conference. Irvine, CA, USA.
Korn MJ, Koppel SJ, Li LH, Mehta D, Mehta SB, Seidl AH, and Cramer KS. (March 2011). Astrocyte-secreted factors modulate the distribution of inhibitory synapses in nucleus laminaris. Poster Presentation. UC Irvine SURP Symposium. Irvine, CA, USA.