Protecting the brain after stroke or trauma is likely with protective agents. Understanding how neurons are formed, connect and are activated is crucial to this process.
The Brain Development group dedicates its research focus to discovering how newly born neurons are properly assembled, interconnected and electrically activated. In particular, the group is interested in how immature brain cells in the embryonic brain know where to go, what to become, what other cells they should be connect to.
The Traumatic Brain and Stroke group is actively engaged in exploiting pre-existing protective mechanisms to prevent neurons from dying after injury. They are interested in identifying drugs that will up-regulate concentrations of NDfip1, a naturally occurring protein that is present in low concentrations in brain cells, but is massively increased in surviving neurons after brain injury.
The group has made significant progress in understanding how Ndfip1 improves the survival of brain cells after injury. In animal models, it has demonstrated that Ddfip1 is increased in surviving neurons after experimentally induced stroke.