My lab studies the neuroimmunology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related neurodegenerative diseases. A major focus is to investigate the activation status and functional role of brain resident microglia and infiltrating immune cells following acute brain injury, and to determine how they contribute to chronic neurodegeneration and cognitive decline after brain trauma. My pre-clinical TBI research group seeks to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that regulate microglial/macrophage function with the goal of manipulating these cells to attenuate destructive pro-inflammatory responses, and promote neuroprotective pro-repair responses.
Ongoing studies include examining:
- the function and phenotypes of microglia/macrophages following acute TBI, and how they contribute to chronic pathologies;
- the signaling pathways that promote anti-inflammatory immune cell activation, and whether these pathways can be manipulated after TBI;
- how old age affects post-traumatic neuroinflammatory responses;
- the effects of TBI on systemic immune function.