Based on a series of group and individual discussions among the Executive Committee and outside members, the BSRCU identified three scientific areas that carry strong potential to spurn the caliber of research that the consortium is aiming to achieve.
The following themes are supported by working groups, each comprised of 15-30 members from across the School of Medicine. Click on each one to read more.
A. Non-invasive focused ultrasound for therapeutic and neuromodulatory purposes
Led by Scott Thompson, PhD, Elias Melhem, MD, Victor Frenkel, PhD,
and Howard Eisenberg, MD
Led by Margaret McCarthy, PhD, and Alan Faden, MD
Neuroinflammation has been increasingly underscored as an important pathobiological mechanism and potential therapeutic target in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Moreover, there is both interest and faculty strengths in this area. Given these facts, the Executive Committee proposed Neuroinflammation as an area of emphasis.
Subsequent to the BSRCU retreat, the Executive Membership voted to disburse BSRCU pilot funds to generate a genetically modified rat, expressing visualizable microglia, using CRISPR technology. These animals are expected to arrive by the fall of 2015. Half of these animals will also have a cre-recombinase site to allow for the adding and deleting of specific genes of interest, a resource which will provide an invaluable tool for a great variety of research areas, including healthy brain development, TBI, concussion, inflammation, drug addiction and many more.
C. Neuropsychiatric and substance use disorders
Led by Robert Buchanan, MD, and Asaf Keller, PhD
Given its strong standing in schizophrenia, substance use disorder, and affective and mood disorder research, as well as strong interest in propagating existing collaborations with pain researchers within and outside of the UMSOM, the Executive Committee decided to embrace the topic of the intersection of pain, neuropsychiatric, and substance use disorders.