Current Research and Scholarly Interests
We are interested in understanding the basic mechanisms by which neurons die in stroke and in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our focus is on the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) pathway, which has been found to play a critical role in promoting neuronal death in a number of models of neurological disease, including stroke, Parkinsonís disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimerís disease. We are examining the function of downstream prostaglandin receptor signaling pathways, focusing on the functions of prostaglandin receptors in glutamate toxicity, ischemia, and neuroinflammation. Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo genetic and pharmacological strategies, we are finding that specific prostaglandin receptor signaling pathways impact dramatically on disease progression in models of both acute and chronic neurodegeneration. The long-term goal of our research is to understand the contribution of prostaglandin signaling to neuronal injury in a wide array of neurological diseases and to develop therapeutic strategies targeting these pathways in human disease.