Our laboratory has a number of projects with openings and funding that focuses on translational neuroscience including:
1. Systems/computational biology of a one-of-a-kind NeuroRepository of integrated human brain tissue, quantitative physiology, genomics, and clinical data. Our New R01 focuses on what makes different human cortical brain regions epileptic versus not and asks what is different about areas that produce single spikes versus seizures. This work incorporates an rat model of interictal spiking versus seizures using tetatnus toxin and long term video EEG monitoring to work out the underlying mechanisms complementing discoveries made from our human tissues. This also involves a small molecule drug development program using this model to develop drugs to prevent epilepsy have head injuries.
2. We have a DOD/CURE grant to develop an animal model combined with human longitudinal data on subarachnoid hemorrhages and what is the underlying mechanism as well as clinical predictors of who gets epilepsy after the bleed. We are also funded to build a longitudinal clinical/brain imaging dataset on Sturge Weber Syndrome and have project in neurocysticercosis epidemiology in Peru, all focusing on epileptogenesis.
3. Neuregulin signaling through microglia leading to neurodegeneration and the interplay between environment (injury) and genetics in both animal models and human ALS tissues. This work has extended with Dr. Fei Song as a collaborator into Alzheimer’s. Dr. Loeb is an expert in neuregulin signaling and has developed a patented biologic that looks like a promising therapeutic.
4. In collaboration with Dr. Shaolin Yang, we are developing a new, patented, brain MRI imaging technique to visualize epileptic brain regions in 3D space with high resolution, sensitivity, and specificity.