Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Michigan State University (2008)
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University (2004)
  • Bachelor of Science, University of California Los Angeles (1996)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Formoterol, a Long-Acting beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist, Improves Cognitive Function and Promotes Dendritic Complexity in a Mouse Model of Down Syndrome BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Dang, V., Medina, B., Das, D., Moghadam, S., Martin, K. J., Lin, B., Naik, P., Patel, D., Nosheny, R., Ashford, J. W., Salehi, A. 2014; 75 (3): 179-188
  • Formoterol, a long-acting ß2 adrenergic agonist, improves cognitive function and promotes dendritic complexity in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Biological psychiatry Dang, V., Medina, B., Das, D., Moghadam, S., Martin, K. J., Lin, B., Naik, P., Patel, D., Nosheny, R., Wesson Ashford, J., Salehi, A. 2014; 75 (3): 179-188


    Down syndrome is associated with significant failure in cognitive function. Our previous investigation revealed age-dependent degeneration of locus coeruleus, a major player in contextual learning, in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. We studied whether drugs already available for use in humans can be used to improve cognitive function in these mice.We studied the status of β adrenergic signaling in the dentate gyrus of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. Furthermore, we used fear conditioning to study learning and memory in these mice. Postmortem analyses included the analysis of synaptic density, dendritic arborization, and neurogenesis.We found significant atrophy of dentate gyrus and failure of β adrenergic signaling in the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice. Our behavioral analyses revealed that formoterol, a long-acting β2 adrenergic receptor agonist, caused significant improvement in the cognitive function in Ts65Dn mice. Postmortem analyses revealed that the use of formoterol was associated with a significant improvement in the synaptic density and increased complexity of newly born dentate granule neurons in the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice.Our data suggest that targeting β2 adrenergic receptors is an effective strategy for restoring synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in these mice. Considering its widespread use in humans and positive effects on cognition in Ts65Dn mice, formoterol or similar β2 adrenergic receptor agonists with ability to cross the blood brain barrier might be attractive candidates for clinical trials to improve cognitive function in individuals with Down syndrome.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.024

    View details for PubMedID 23827853

  • Ascending monoaminergic systems alterations in Alzheimer's disease. Translating basic science into clinical care NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS Trillo, L., Das, D., Hsieh, W., Medina, B., Moghadam, S., Lin, B., Dang, V., Sanchez, M. M., De Miguel, Z., Ashford, J. W., Salehi, A. 2013; 37 (8): 1363-1379


    Extensive neuropathological studies have established a compelling link between abnormalities in structure and function of subcortical monoaminergic (MA-ergic) systems and the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The main cell populations of these systems including the locus coeruleus, the raphe nuclei, and the tuberomamillary nucleus undergo significant degeneration in AD, thereby depriving the hippocampal and cortical neurons from their critical modulatory influence. These studies have been complemented by genome wide association studies linking polymorphisms in key genes involved in the MA-ergic systems and particular behavioral abnormalities in AD. Importantly, several recent studies have shown that improvement of the MA-ergic systems can both restore cognitive function and reduce AD-related pathology in animal models of neurodegeneration. This review aims to explore the link between abnormalities in the MA-ergic systems and AD symptomatology as well as the therapeutic strategies targeting these systems. Furthermore, we will examine possible mechanisms behind basic vulnerability of MA-ergic neurons in AD.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.05.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326902600005

    View details for PubMedID 23707776

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