Research

Glial cell biology

The mammalian nervous system comprises a complex array of multiple cell types required for neural function. Supporting cells, including oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells, astrocytes and microglia, are the predominant cell types in the vertebrate nervous system and are critical for both neuronal survival and function. Within our program, a core group focuses on the diverse role of glial cells in nervous system development, disease and repair. Ongoing research investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the proliferation, migration and differentiation of glial cells during development and glia-associated pathology in multiple sclerosis, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, aging and head trauma.

Jeffrey L. Dupree, Ph.D.
Mechanisms and molecules underlying neuron-oligodendrocyte interactions in the adult and developing nervous systems

Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Identification and characterization of genes involved in neurodegeneration and as a consequence of HIV-1 infection; identifying novel compounds with neuroprotective properties

Babette Fuss, Ph.D.
Biology of the myelin-forming cell of the CNS; the oligodendrocyte and functional characterization of novel oligodendrocyte-specific proteins

Kurt F. Hauser, Ph.D.
Glial biology; role of glia (astoglia and microglia) in the pathobiology of neuroAIDS and in the CNS response to drug abuse

Pamela Knapp, Ph.D.
Glial-neuronal interactions during development and disease processes; the neuropathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus and comorbidity of substance abuse

Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D. 
Astrocyte-specific expression of an amyloid-associated protein a1-antichymotrypsin and its stimulation by pro-inflammatory cytokines; plasminogen activator systems in astrocytes in response to cytokines and growth factors

Gretchen N. Neigh, Ph.D. 
Sex differences in neuroendocrine immune interactions in health and disease

Carmen Sato-Bigbee, Ph.D.
Regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation during brain development; mechanisms of demyelination/remyelination in multiple sclerosis; perinatal opioid exposure and central nervous development