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Acute brain injury caused by stroke, cardiac arrest, transient hypoxia, and head trauma affects over 1 million people each year in the US alone. Our mission is to improve the survival and quality of life for brain injury victims. Our approach includes the use of both basic and translational research directed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of neural cell death. We also use tissue and fluid samples obtained from traumatic brain injury patients to validate the mechanisms elucidated from our animal models and to identify accurate biomarkers of acute neurodegeneration.

Focus of study

Relationships between excitotoxicity, cellular calcium overload, metabolic failure, and oxidative stress with emphasis on the role that mitochondrial dysfunction plays in both necrotic and apoptotic cell death.

Research Topics

  • Brain mitochondrial physiology and bioenergetics
  • Oxidative stress
  • Cerebral energy metabolism
  • Necrotic and apoptotic neural cell death
  • Brain inflammation
  • Translational research utilizing animal models of cerebral ischemia, traumatic brain injury, neonatal asphyxia
  • Development of clinically feasible neuroprotective interventions


  • Small and large animal surgical facilities
  • Fluorescence live cell imaging workstation with environmental control
  • Histology workstation with advanced stereology
  • Anoxia chamber
  • Multi-incubator cell culture system with independent oxygen controls