Translational Research Laboratories
Located on the 9th floor of the Medical School Teaching Facility (MSTF) building on the medical school campus in downtown Baltimore, our group brings together clinician scientists and basic scientists who share a common interest in translational neuroscience research to improve the lives of those who suffer from mental illness. Our space includes molecular and cellular biology laboratories, areas devoted to behavioral pharmacology, as well as shared procedure space for conducting neuroscience research.
Todd D. Gould, MD
The long-term goal of my research encompasses conducting high quality translational research that will yield outcomes with tangible benefits to patients suffering from mood disorders. My lab uses molecular, cellular, and especially behavioral approaches to study the pharmacology of psychotropic medications in rodents with a particular focus on the development of improved animal models in psychiatry, the functional consequences of mood disorder susceptibility genes, and collaborative translational studies with both basic science and clinically focused research groups. Current experiments are focused on defining the molecular mechanisms whereby lithium ions exert their therapeutic effects, studies with mice that harbor of a knockout of the mood disorder susceptibility gene CACNA1C, and investigating the behavioral and potential therapeutic profile of a novel beta-estradiol prodrug.
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William T. Regenold, MDCM
Research in my laboratory has focused primarily on the role of abnormalities of brain glucose metabolism in the pathophysiology of mood disorders and schizophrenia. Glucose is the exclusive source of energy for the brain; therefore, glucose metabolism is essential to brain energy metabolism. Our findings, based on data from postmortem brain and cerebrospinal fluid, have led us recently to investigate whether there is a problem in glucose metabolism by the mitochondrion, the cell organelle that is critical to generating energy from glucose. The ultimate goal of the research is to find out whether symptoms of mental illness can be prevented or relieved by improving brain glucose metabolism. We are also studying the therapeutic mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy, with a particular interest in the neurotrophic properties of electrical current.
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Leonardo H. Tonelli, PhD
The immune system is an integral part of the physiological response to psychological stress and is also a nexus between to body and the mind. My laboratory is investigating the role of adaptive immune processes in conferring susceptibility or resistance to the development of pathological stress responses such as those seen in anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders and depression. We are developing a pre-clinical mice model to study the mechanisms of interaction between T cells and brain cells. These studies may assist in the development of a cell-based therapy for the treatment of stress-related disorders.
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Jian-Min Zhang, MD/PhD
My long term goal is to understand why women suffer from depression more than men and to develop new treatments for depression. I use animal models and approaches to assess neuroplastic processes (e.g. BrdU labeling to assess adult neurogenesis) in the brain, combined with classical gonadal hormone manipulation strategies to study whether perinatal androgens play roles in preventing males from developing depression. At the same time, in clinical research, I use testosterone replacement therapy to treat elderly depressed men who manifest lower testosterone levels.
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