Current Research

Neural Injury, Degeneration and Immunology

Lead Investigator: Robert Baloh, MD, PhD
The injury, degeneration and immunology interest group aims to explore the shared mechanisms of tissue response to injury (trauma, ischemia, infection) and spontaneous degeneration (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia, etc.). Focus is on understanding how genetic risk factors interact with environmental insults to create an integrated tissue response in cells of the nervous system (neurons, astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes) and interact with the peripheral immune, gut/microbiome, and endocrine systems.

Plaque-associated microglia in the 5XFAD (pic1), 5XFAD/c9 crossed (Pic2 and 3) animals. Amyloid plaques are labelled in green and microglia in purple.


Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience

Lead Investigator: Ueli Rutishauser, PhD
The cognitive and systems neuroscience interest group aims to understand the neural basis of cognition in health and disease. Using electrophysiology, noninvasive imaging and other recording methods, the group interrogates how neurons function in isolation, within local assemblies and across brain networks to explain human cognition and behavior and improve recovery after injury. The group is partnered with clinical teams from the departments of neurosurgery and neurology, allowing them unique access to recording from human subjects undergoing epilepsy surgery or deep brain stimulation.

Single unit trace

Example extracellular recordings from three different brain areas in a patient with implanted electrodes

Neuron waveforms from Jan Kaminski, PhD


Neurodevelopment, Cancer and Repair

Lead Investigator: Joshua Breunig, PhD
The development, cancer and repair interest group examines shared mechanisms between normal neuronal development and abnormal growth in the setting of cancer, and explores opportunities for harnessing these insights to enhance tissue repair after injury.