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Brain Injury Translational Research Center

The Brain Injury Translation Research Center consists of a small, multidisciplinary group of scientists including Drs. Laskowitz, Kolls, James, Bennett, and Dawson who have combined their research efforts to find new approaches to caring for brain injured patients. We investigate the genetic factors and molecular mechanisms that underlie the brain’s response to acute injury and chronic degeneration over time.

One of the common features between acute brain injury and chronic neurodegeneration is inflammation. Our group has focused on the potential role for modulation of inflammation and how novel therapeutic approaches directed at controlling inflammation could slow neurodegeneration and improve recovery from acute brain injury.

We are also investigating the possibility that early intervention on brain inflammation after injury may prevent late changes that contribute to the development of seizures and epilepsy.

Our lab uses transgenic animal technology, behavior measures, molecular biology, and electrophysiologic approaches to investigate the importance of genetic factors such as APOE and channelopathies and probe the effects of various potential therapeutics on brain inflammation and outcomes from brain injury.

In the lab we have a mouse-based model of all forms of acute brain injury including models of stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, lobar hemorrhage, closed head injury, and penetrating brain injury.

Using these clinically relevant models we can explore the key molecular events that lead to edema, secondary brain injury, and poor outcome as well as other sequela of injury such as seizures and progressive dementia. The models also allow for screening of potential new therapeutic approaches that can then be translated to the clinical setting for further evaluation and study.