Neuroscience Research

Below are UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences researchers working on projects related to neuroscience:

Aging

Holly M. Brown-Borg, Ph.D., Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor (Ph.D., North Carolina State University): Understanding the relationship between cellular oxidation, hormones, mitochondrial activities and aging in a mammalian model of extended life span.

Drug Addiction

James D. Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of North Dakota, 1994): Regulation of monoamine signaling in the brain via posttranslational modifications of monoamine transporters and their role in addiction and pathological disorders such as ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson disease.

Keith Henry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Tennessee): The structural components of the serotonin transporter and how the components work together to allow for ion-serotonin coupling and substrate translocation.

Roxanne A. Vaughan, Ph.D., Professor (Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1985): Structure-function properties of the dopamine transporter—a regulator of dopaminergic neurotransmission and site of action of cocaine and amphetamines.

General Neuroscience

Catherine A. Brissette, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., University of Washington, 2006): Bacteria-host interactions with pathogenic spirochetes. Lyme disease. Epigenetic modifications in response to infection B. burgdorferi infection of nervous system.

Xuesong Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of North Dakota): Understanding physiologically how endolysosomes contribute to calcium homeostasis in neurons, and pathologically how altered endolysosomal structure and function contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

Colin K. Combs, Ph.D., Professor (Ph.D., University of Rochester): Mechanisms by which inflammatory activation of brain glial cells contributes to neurodegeneration. The process by which a specific type of glia, microglia, contribute to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease.

Van A. Doze, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., Stanford University): Function and modulation qf interneurons. Alterations in catecholaminergic transmission. Role of glial cells in neurodegeneration.

James D. Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of North Dakota, 1994): Regulation of monoamine signaling in the brain via posttranslational modifications of monoamine transporters and their role in addiction and pathological disorders such as ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson disease.

Jonathan D. Geiger, Ph.D., Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor (Ph.D., University of North Dakota, 1982): The ability of calcium in endosomes/lysosomes to influence capacitative influx of calcium and calcium-induced calcium release from ER and mitochondria. The role of endosome/lysosome dysfunction in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, HIV-1 associated dementia, and inclusion body myositis. The ability of caffeine to block adenosine receptors and protect against blood brain barrier dysfunction in animal models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The role of brain energy metabolism in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases.

Othman Ghribi, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., Rene Descartes University): Roles of environmental factors, diet, and genetic susceptibility in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Keith Henry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Tennessee): The structural components of the serotonin transporter and how the components work together to allow for ion-serotonin coupling and substrate translocation.

Saobo Lei, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., University of Alberta): Modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Roles of neuromodulators in epilepsy, anxiety and neurodegenerative diseases.

Eric J. Murphy, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., The Ohio State University): How the brain maintain the unique lipid environment that is essential for normal brain function. The mechanisms underlying fatty acid uptake into the brain. N-3 Fatty acids in the human diet.

Kumi Nagamoto-Combs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1996): Investigation of molecular, cellular and epigenetic events associated with peripheral inflammation-induced behavioral abnormality.

James Porter, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., Creighton University): Characterization of molecular mechanisms for activating G protein-coupled receptor systems. Pharmacological classification of adrenergic receptors mediating the inhibition of GABAergic interneurons. Identification of signal transduction pathways causing the release of inflammatory factors initiated by sympathetic and peptidergic receptor activation.

Thad Rosenberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., Ohio State University): Identification of lipid-mediated signaling pathways that contribute to the progression of inflammatory events in the central nervous system. Identifying the specific roles phospholipases A2 and C play in the progression of disease. Distinguishing the role that ether phospholipid metabolism has in normal and injured brain.

John A. Watt, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Ph.D., Montana State University, 1993): Neuron/glial response(s) to brain injury, particularly in regards to the mechanisms of cellular communication involved in regenerative events.

Neurotransmitter Transporters

James D. Foster, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., the University of North Dakota, 1994): Regulation of the dopamine transporter (DAT) via phosphorylation and palmitoylation.

Keith Henry, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Tennessee): The structural components of the serotonin transporter and how the components work together to allow for ion-serotonin coupling and substrate translocation.

Roxanne A. Vaughan, Ph.D., Professor (Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1985): Structure-function properties of the dopamine transporter—a regulator of dopaminergic neurotransmission and site of action of cocaine and amphetamines.