Title of Research: Molecular Mediators of Neonatal Brain Injury, Neurotoxicity and Cell Death and Neuroprotection

Name of Investigator(s): Mir Ahamed Hossain, Ph.D.

Brief Description of Summary Research, including Goals and Objectives:

Major focus of my research in the field of neuroscience has been on hypoxic-ischemic injury in developing brain to understand the molecular basis of neurotoxicity and cell death, neurodegeneration, and the mechanism(s) of neuroprotection and survival within the central neurons. To achieve these goals my laboratory is conducting research at the molecular and cellular levels integrating various current research projects; (I) to understand the molecular and intracellular signaling mechanism(s) of injury in the developing brain caused by hypoxia-ischemia, and its neuroprotection/repair by neurotrophic growth factors, and (II) to study the molecular basis of lead (Pb2+) neurotoxicity and Pb-induced cerebrovascular dysfunction in the developing brain and changes in second messenger signaling pathways and gene expression in neurons. (III) On another project, we are investigating the molecular and cellular mechanism(s) of neuropathology and neurochemical abnormalities associated with the neurodevelopmental disorder ‘Rett Syndrome’. These studies are designed and integrated with ongoing investigations in the lab converging into our primary focus on the molecular and cellular basis of neuronal injury/death caused by hypoxia-ischemia and the underlying mechanism(s) of neuroprotection in developing brain. We are applying multidisciplinary approaches including in vivo animal model, primary neuronal cultures, molecular cloning, gene specific knockout and knock-in techniques, transcriptional regulations of gene expression, intracellular signal transduction and protein biochemistry strategies. The long-term goal of my research is to ultimately apply the strategies and techniques identified and refined in the basic science research to therapeutic interventions of neurological disorders in the developing brain.

Scope of Duties for Research Student:

Students will learn advanced laboratory techniques used in basic neuroscience research, and gain hands-on experience in isolating and maintaining primary neuronal cultures and various cellular and molecular biological experiments while working on different ongoing projects in the lab. In addition, students will perform data analysis, photomicroscopy and photography for projects as needed, use software programs to prepare data figures and tables for presentation and future publications purposes.

Level of Student Education and Major/Discipline Desired:

Undergraduate and graduate students with biology or neuroscience major is desired. Willingness to handle small animals is preferred.