The Neurorepair Lab focuses on the investigation of mechanisms of injury and recovery following damage to the central nervous system (CNS), primarily following stroke and perinatal hypoxia. The combined research aims in this multi-investigator lab include excitotoxicity mechanisms in oligodendrocytes during white matter injury, anti-inflammatory mechanisms during endogenous neurovascular protection, and the role of exercise on prevention of injury and behavioral recovery. We use molecular, surgical and behavioral techniques, including flow cytometry, confocal immunohistochemistry, exercise training, hypoxic exposure, and delivery of neurotherapeutics. We also hope to start additional in vitro studies in the near future.

Neurorepair team picture

Research Interest

Currently Ann Stowe, Ph.D., is investigating how hypoxic preconditioning protects the brain from stroke. "Preconditioning" occurs when cells, tissue, or organisms are exposed to a noxious, but non-injuring stimulus. This stimulus initiates both genomic and proteomic reprogramming to protect from subsequent damage (i.e. tolerance). Preconditioning has been used in both clinical and animal models, and can provide protection to the heart, brain, kidneys, and liver. Systemic exposure to low oxygen, or hypoxia, protects the brain from stroke-induced neuronal and vascular injury, limiting blood-brain barrier disruption and infarct volume.

Using molecular and histological techniques, flow cytometry, tissue culture, as well intravital microscopy, we quantify post-stroke injury in preconditioned animals in an effort to better understand how the brain endogenously protects itself. Understanding and translating protective mechanisms into therapeutics could afford sustained periods of cerebroprotection in subpopulations of individuals at identified risk for CNS diseases, or aid in recovery following CNS injury.

The research of Mark Goldberg, M.D., is in hypoxic-ischemic injury of the brain's white matter. We observed that overactivation of glutamate receptors is toxic not only to neurons, but also to oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming glial cells. We use cell culture and brain slice models to understand toxic interactions between oligodendrocytes and myelinated axons. Conditions as different as stroke, trauma, perinatal brain injury, and multiple sclerosis may share common mechanisms of white matter injury. Our overall goal is to find new approaches to protect the brain and to enhance recovery after stroke and trauma.