Research: Microglia Biology, Environmental Neurotoxicology, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Gulf War Illness.

Her research team focuses on identifying environmental and endogenous disease triggers that initiate deleterious activation of the brain’s innate immune cells (microglia), revealing the redox mechanisms through which microglia cause neuron damage, and applying these findings towards halting chronic neuropathology in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzhiemer’s disease, and Gulf War Illness.

As such, the three major areas of research focus are:

  • Microglial Redox Signaling – How do reactive oxygen species reprogram microglia to become deleterious and can we use this information to abolish a neurotoxic phenotype?
  • Chronic Microglial Activation – Why doesn’t the response shut off and how can we both diagnose and stop this phenomenon?
  • Air Pollution & Microglia – How does air pollution affect microglia, what does it mean for CNS disease, and what can we do about it?

Expertise: Neurodegenerative Disorders Research

Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Toxicology
PhD, Pennsylvania State University, Genetics, 2002
BS, Iowa State University, Psychology, 1994