Neuroscience Program

Overview


Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, including the brain, the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system. This is an extensive network of specialized cells that conduct information in order to control, regulate, and coordinate the body's functions. Neuroscience at the OHRI encompasses both clinical investigations and basic scientific pursuits, from both a molecular and an electrophysiological standpoint. These are designed to improve our understanding of neurological illnesses and to evolve therapies for these diseases. These multidisciplinary efforts, both individual and collaborative, fall into a broad range of general themes, including intracellular signalling; neuronal cell death, protection, resistance, and recovery (with a particular focus on cerebral ischemia and ischemic stroke); and cellular communication, differentiation, and response to perturbation.

Specifically, ongoing projects investigate cellular communication and signaling in the nervous system; the role of signaling proteins involved in cytoskeletal reorganization following stroke; the molecular mechanisms that regulate neurotransmitter release and ion channel activation; the neural circuits in brain and spinal cord that control neuroendocrine and autonomic functions; the neural circuits that process auditory signals; cellular and axonal response to ischemia; the molecular mechanisms of pharmacotherapy; the molecular markers for, and gene expression during, brain recovery; the mechanisms inducing cell death, as well as possible neuroprotectants and genetic manipulations to enhance brain repair; the use of transplanted neural stem cells to facilitate functional recovery; the regulation of neuronal survival in pathophysiologic conditions; cell cycle genes and their impact on cellular differentiation and death; membrane trafficking; volume and surface area regulation in neurons; new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of stroke; and new therapies for those with Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. Much of this research is aimed at improving our ability to help patients who suffer from neurological and mental health diseases.

For more information, see stroke research at the OHRI or the Parkinson's Research Consortium.