Clinical Student The neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in cognitive function, motivated behaviors, mood and addiction. Creatine has been linked to dopaminergic function, most notably as therapies for both Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. My work focuses on the interactions of creatine and dopamine.
Clinical Student It has been estimated that the Na+,K+-ATPase uses 50-60% of all the ATP generated in the brain. Creatine (Cr) plays an important role in replenishing ATP and has been tightly linked to Na+,K+-ATPase activity. My work involves determining how the loss of Cr affects Na+,K+-ATPase function.
Clinical Student While it is well established that the loss of the creatine transporter leads to a complete lack of brain creatine, there is still much debate on how the brain acquires creatine (i.e. de novo syntheis, uptake across the blood brain barrier or a combination of the two). Using conditional CrT knockout models, my work focuses on the mechanisms that the CrT uses to provide Cr to the brain.
Research Fellow Recent data suggests that patients with bipolar disorder (BD) have significant changes in cellular metabolism. Interestingly, lithium, which is one of the primary treatments of BD, has been shown to alter cellular metabolism via inhibition of glycogen synthesis. The focus of our lab is to better understand how changes in mitochondrial function relate to the phenotypes associated with BD. Further, we seek to better understand the mechanisms that cause the mitochondrial dysfunction seen in BD. The results of these studies will provide significant advancement in the understanding of this debilitating disorder.
Clinical Student My work focuses on the ontogeny of creatine transporter deficiency. By defining critical windows in which creatine is required for brain development, more effective treatment strategies can be defined.