Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2011
Mentor: Ann Stowe, PhD
Department: Neurology & Neurotherapeutics
Room number: ND4.214D
Mail Code: 8813
Phone number: 214/648-4122
Project title: High-Low training to reduce motor deficits following focal stroke
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 2010-0133
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects) Animal-based research.
Brief Description of Project:
The objective of this study is to determine if a novel intervention, High-Low training, can enhance neurovascular plasticity to alleviate persistent behavioral deficits in a mouse model of focal stroke. “High-Low” training, which combines repeated hypoxia (i.e. High altitude living) with daily exercise (i.e. Low altitude training), is currently being used by our collaborator, Dr. Rong Zhang (Internal Medicine –Cardiovascular), to improve cardiopulmonary fitness and upregulate growth factors in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. We want to determine if High-Low training can promote post-stroke recovery in mice as preliminary data for a clinical study in individuals with stroke. We hypothesize that High-Low training will enhance structural and functional plasticity, while improving functional recovery, over 4 wks following a focal stroke. Students will be expected to learn behavioral techniques to quantify motor recovery in mice. In addition, they will learn coronal sectioning of the brain, and standard immunohistochemical techniques to identify neurons and blood vessels. Participation in this project will result in co-authorship on both an abstract and a paper.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
During my graduate work under the mentorship of Dr. Randy Nudo, I was the direct supervisor of Dr. Anirban Sensarma, M.D., then a first-year medical student and a participant in the Medical Student Summer Research Program, University of Kansas Medical Center. I designed a series of experiments for Anirban that included the immunohistochemical identification of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-Receptor 2 (VEGF-R2) on neurons following stroke. Over the summer, Anirban used unbiased quantitative techniques to examine the neuronal expression of VEGF-R2 in neurophysiologically-defined primary (M1) and secondary motor cortices following an infarct confined to the M1 hand representation. His work was published as part of my thesis in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Anirban is currently completing his residency at Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, Grand Rapids, MI.
Stowe AM, Plautz EJ, Nguyen P, Frost SB, Eisner-Janowicz I, Barbay S, Dancause N, Sensarma A, Taylor M, Zoubina EV, and Nudo RJ. Neuronal HIF-1a protein and VEGFR-2 immunoreactivity in functionally related motor areas following a focal M1 infarct. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2008; 28: 612-20.
In addition, I have two additional co-author publications with medical students I have worked with at KUMC:
Friel KM, Barbay S, Frost SB, Plautz EJ, Hutchinson DM, Stowe AM, Dancause N, Zoubina EV, Quaney BM, and Nudo RJ. Dissociation of sensorimotor deficits after rostral vs. caudal lesions in the primary motor cortex hand representation. J Neurophys. 2005; 94: 1312-24.
Frost SB, Barbay S, Mumert ML, Stowe AM, and Nudo RJ. An animal model of capsular infarct: Endothelin-1 injections in the rat. Behav Brain Res. 2006; 169: 206-11.