Professor, Departments of Cell and Neurobiology, Neurology, and Neurogerontology
Vice Chair Department of Cell and Neurobiology
The overall goal of Dr. McNeill's research program is to define the cellular mechanisms that regulate the ability of the brain to repair itself in response to injury (i.e. neuroplasticity) and the effect of aging on these processes. In particular, we wish to further our understanding of the cellular events underlying the synergism between neural plasticity and treatment strategies that promote the recovery of function after brain damage. Understanding the cellular mechanisms that promote neuroplasticity after brain injury is critical for determining the limits of functional recovery that can be expected in brain injured patients, and the first step in developing novel treatment strategies to facilitate the recovery of function after brain injury. Likewise, the ability to manipulate neurotrophrin and neurotransmitters pathways that are activated in response to injury offers a unique opportunity for the development of novel therapies that target a specific cellular mechanisms by translating the fundemental principles of neuroplasticty into effective clinical interventions. The knowledge gained from our studies has relevance for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders commonly associated with brain injury as well as in the treatment of neurological deficits associated with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and stroke. Dr. McNeill is the principle investigator of the Interdisciplinary Center grant entitled " Interdisciplinary Studies of Neuroplasticity and Stroke Rehabilitation".