Faculty

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Michael Jakowec, PhD
Associate Professor of Research Neurology
Neurology
MCA 243 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 1057

Overview

The primary focus of research in Dr. Jakowec's laboratory is to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroplasticity in the injured brain with the emphasis on the basal ganglia, a region of the brain responsible for motor behavior. Currently, his laboratory is exploring the interactions between the neurotransmitter systems involving dopamine, glutamate and serotonine and finding ways to manipulate them to enhance motor behavior. To achieve this goal, animal models of basal gagnglia injury using the neurotoxicant MPTP are being used to investigate intrinsic neuroplasticity as well as using both pharmacological and behavioral modification including intensive treadmill exercise to alter the course of response to injury. Techniques and approaches used in the lab to examine alterations in genes and proteins of interest include immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization histochemistry, western immunoblotting, light microscopy, gene array, protein profiling, neurochemistry, electrophysiology (with John Walsh), PET imaging (with Giselle Petzinger), blood flow studies (with Daniel Holschneider), immune analysis (with Brett Lund), and behavior (with Ruth Wood). A major goal of these studies is to translate their findings to develop new therapeutic treatments for Parkinson's disease and to possibly alter disease progression and demonstrated in our recent publication (Fisher et al, 2008)

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