We have examined the involvement of the mitochondrial permeability transition in isolated CNS mitochondria from normal and Huntington's Disease model mice. At the systems level, we are currently examining metabolite changes in brains of Huntington's Disease model mice and how these metabolite changes can be used both as biomarkers for disease progression and to provide insight into mechanisms of disease progression.
A new project is investigating how certain classes of drugs might alter synaptic vesicle availability or cycling as a means of limiting high frequency activity in epilepsy.
Research in Science Teaching:
The field of neuroscience probes the cellular, molecular and circuit properties contributing to learning and memory, processes that should influence teachers' classroom strategies and practices. Providing professional development for postbaccalaureate teachers into the biological basis of learning and memory applies the new knowledge generated in my field towards solving a pressing societal need, improving K-12 science education. As a research scientist, communicating this knowledge to teacher audiences is a part of translational research. BrainU is a professional development program for K-12 science teachers interested in understanding the brain and its relevance to education (www.brainu.org). BrainU was created in response to requests from teachers to learn more neuroscience than could be covered in one-hour classroom visits. My goals for the BrainU program are to engage teachers both in teaching about and applying neuroscience to their classroom practices and to motivate teachers and their students to learn more about themselves and the pursuit of science. Our research goals are to probe how learning about the nervous system motivates teachers and students to teach, learn and do science in their classrooms.
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