In this study, we aim to (i) perform a feasibility study to determine the acceptance and feasibility of performing such recordings in the AN and ARFID eating disorders population and (ii) test the hypothesis that the electrophysiologic monitoring of the brain and stomach is associated with a clinically validated behavioral measure of interoception involving water distention of the stomach.
This team is developing a small molecule that targets a voltage-gated ion channel within the inner ear for the symptomatic relief of peripheral vertigo attacks. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to further develop this molecule to restore normal function and improve activities of daily living for patients experiencing peripheral vertigo.
This study will introduce a vascular-like electronic system that merges seamlessly with neural organoids,
establishing an integrated vascular-electronic-neural network. This envisaged platform holds the promise of heralding a transformative phase in the evolution of human neural organoid research and elucidating the
fundamental understanding on the roles of oxygen and nutrient perfusion during neural development.
This proposal addresses three interconnected, yet independent aims focused on the neural mechanisms implicated in age-associated miscarriages. First, the proposal aims to construct a comprehensive neuro-uterine atlas delineating neuronal subtypes innervating the uterus, elucidating how innervation patterns and transcriptome profiles evolve with age. Second, the proposal aims to implement cutting-edge tissue clearing techniques on extracted uteri to discern alterations in uterine innervation patterns and signaling across the rodent estrous cycle and the first trimester of pregnancy.
Resilience to Alzheimer’s disease (RAD) describes those rare individuals who exhibit normal cognitive function
while harboring a high disease burden. Better understanding of the mechanisms that confer protection against
cognitive decline despite high-level AD pathology offers potential therapeutic insights for preventing dementia in AD. Recent advances in the field provide a unique opportunity to explore the spatial distribution of molecules in the human brain at an unprecedented level of detail.
This team has identified a promising protein-based therapeutic to improve stroke recovery. The team will use the Neuroscience:Translate award to identify key components of this protein to maximize its therapeutic potential for stroke treatments.
Clinical translation of a new PET radiotracer for mapping innate immune activation in multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases
This team recently identified a selective biomarker of inflammation-promoting immune cells in the central nervous system. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to develop non-invasive molecular imaging strategies to distinguish between harmful (pro-inflammatory) and helpful (anti-inflammatory) immune cells in patients with Multiple sclerosis (MS).
This team has developed a new therapy for patients with spinal cord injury, involving injection into the spinal cord of patient-derived stem cells within an engineered protective gel. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to further test and develop this novel therapy in preparation for first-in-human clinical trials.
This team recently discovered that a small molecule they had originally developed to treat Parkinson’s disease can also reduce the volume of glioblastoma tumors – the most common form of aggressive brain tumor — by targeting the mitochondrial protein Miro1. They will use their Neuroscience:Translate award to study the mechanisms of the compound’s anti-tumor action and prepare to apply for investigational-new-drug status to move this discovery toward the clinic.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and there is a tremendous need for improved therapeutic strategies to treat this prevalent neurodegenerative disease. A devastating symptom of AD is progressive memory loss; this particular disease feature has proven difficult to treat. However, research has begun to unravel novel drivers of AD, including the important role the body’s immune system plays in promoting memory loss.
Neuroinflammation is common in several neurodegenerative diseases, with brain immune cells, specifically
microglia, being a main driver of the inflammatory process. Understanding what triggers microglial activation and its pathways will lead to a better knowledge of inflammatory mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disease pathology. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been studied extensively in the peripheral immune system due to their ability to induce innate immune responses.
Maintaining the health and function of the aging brain is crucial to improving the quality of older people’s lives and reducing societal burden. Aging is often accompanied by a decline in memory for life events (episodic memory), especially in those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Yet some at-risk individual’s manage to maintain memory function, which raises important questions about the brain mechanisms that underly memory resilience.
Sleep is critical for brain function in many animals, and chronic disruptions in sleep patterns are strongly linked to the emergence of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. When animals sleep, neural
activity and brain metabolism change dramatically; however, we do not know what the molecular functions of
sleep are in the brain, nor do we know how these processes are linked to brain health.
The ability of an infant to distinguish caregivers from strangers is fundamental for survival early in life. Across
many taxa, newborns use olfactory cues to recognize caregivers. Caregiver odors induce proximity-seeking
behavior and alleviate stress in neonatal mammals, including humans. Since all altricial animals rely on parental
care for survival and children with developmental disorders (e.g., fragile X syndrome and autism) often have
deficits in the olfactory system, it is essential to understand the mechanisms for linking caregiver odors with
Interrogating the effects of serotonin and dopamine on neural activity in the nucleus accumbens during aggression
Studying the brain circuits involved in aggression will help us tackle big social issues like hate crimes, antisocial
behavior, and violence. Imagine if we could better understand why some people act aggressively towards
others—we could use this knowledge to protect people from harm and create a world where everyone feels safe. Chemicals in our brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, affect neural activity to modulate behavior. When we experience something rewarding, like having good food or meeting friends, dopamine is released in the brain.
Interpretable machine learning to decipher gene regulation in brain development and disruption in disease
Brain development is a complex process where cells must self-renew and differentiate at the right place and right time. Gene regulation during development involves sequences in the genome which affect the expression of genes locally, and transcription factors, proteins that bind these sequences and activate genes throughout the genome. At active regulatory sequences and genes, DNA is accessible to these proteins, while inactive DNA is tightly compacted.
A principled investigation into the heterogeneous coding properties of medial entorhinal cortex that support accurate spatial navigation
Navigation through an environment to a remembered location is a critical skill we use every day. How does our brain accomplish such a task? Over the last few decades, several lines of evidence have suggested that a brain region called medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) supports navigation by encoding information our location and movement within an environment.
Many neurological diseases feature the death of neurons, but the mechanisms that mediate cell death in these disorders are unknown. Astrogliosis, the response of a cell-type called “astrocytes” to injury, is common to most diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and recent studies in our lab suggest that some reactive astrocytes may release a protein that is potently toxic to neurons.
The purpose of this collaborative project is to study neuronal mechanisms associated with social stress. In particular we will test whether the energy producing systems, known as mitochondria, in a specific set of brain cells are important to confer resilience to stressful stimuli. This research may lead to treatments of stress and anxiety disorders.
We propose to connect diverse faculty to deepen interdisciplinary understanding of the neural mechanisms supporting addictive choice by combining conceptual, experimental, and clinical approaches that bridge historically disparate fields of inquiry.
Our goal is to develop the next generation of neural interfaces that match the resolution and performance of the biological circuitry. We will focus on two signature efforts to spearhead the necessary advances: high-density wire bundles for electrical recording and stimulation, and analog and digital bi-directional retinal prostheses for restoration of vision.
The Stanford Brain Rejuvenation Project is an initiative by leading aging researchers, neuroscientists, chemists, and engineers to understand the basis of brain aging and rejuvenation and how they relate to neurodegeneration.