Neuroimaging, neurostimulation, rehabilitation, neural plasticity, motor learning, stroke
My research interests are centered on understanding the adaptive capacity of the human nervous system in order to create innovative rehabilitation interventions to ameliorate disability and improve quality of life for individuals with neurologic impairment. My research laboratory is focused on translational neurorehabilitation in a highly collaborative atmosphere. Transdisciplinary collaborations are embraced at every opportunity in an effort to inform our work and contribute to the activities of other scientists. I also see these collaborations as a fertile training ground for students in the lab that come from neuroscience, medicine, biomedical engineering, physical therapy, computer science, etc.
Dr. Arbiser's research focuses on the regulation of angiogenesis and tumorigenesis by signal transduction pathways. Our laboratory has chosen three model systems to study these relationships. The first area is the common vascular birthmarks of children and their malignant counterparts, angiosarcomas. The second application of these studies are benign neoplasms which develop in the autosomal dominant syndrome tuberous sclerosis (TS). The third application of these studies is in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma. Dr Arbiser has developed the hypothesis that oncogenes disrupt the balance between angiogenesis stimulators and inhibitors.
I have 2 areas of ongoing investigation. One focus is a C-type lectin-family receptor (CD303) expressed uniquely on the surface of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Data suggest that this receptor impacts function of these cells in innate and adaptive immunity. We have developed unique biochemical tools to better understand the structure and function of CD303 including identification of natural binding targets whether of self or non-self origin. Specific efforts focus on identifying the specific counter-receptors on these targets and better characterizing the impact of receptor-ligand engagement. A second focus involves deciphering the role of the Bcl-6 interacting transcriptional co-repressor MTA3 and BCL6 in B cell lymphomas, work done in collaboration with Dr. P. Wade at NIEHS, and translating this knowledge into diagnostically useful tools.
Dr. Waller's research focus is in enhancing immune reconstitution after stem cell transplant and developing cell therapy for anti-tumor immunology and in regenerative medicine. His current research activities include pre-clinical and clinical studies focused on the role of donor immune cells in optimizing anti-tumor immunity after allogenic transplantation, and the clinical application of autologous CD34+ cells in improving vascular function and facilitating neo-angiogenesis in patients with peripheral and coronary vascular disease. His NIH-funded basic research lab uses mouse models and performs immunological analyses of clinical samples from patients. He has active translational research activities and serves as a principal investigator on institutional and national cooperative group clinical trials.
Mara Schenker, MD is a clinician-scientist at Emory University. Her clinical practice is in orthopaedic trauma at Grady Memorial Hospital, and her interests include complex periarticular trauma, infection, nonunion, and malunion. Dr. Schenker performs approximately 600 complex trauma surgeries per year. Her research interests include host factors associated with delayed fracture healing (nutrition, infection, frailty, and others). Additional research interests include optimization of resident education.
The research interests of our laboratory are to understand the diverse and critical roles played by mRNA binding proteins and associated factors in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression in the nervous system, and investigate how these processes go awry in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. We investigate the normal mechanism, function and regulation of mRNA binding proteins in mRNA transport and local protein synthesis needed for neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. We investigate pathomechanisms for Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and other autism spectrum disorders, as well as two motor neuron diseases: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We are using mouse models of neurological diseases to assess the function of mRNA regulation and local protein synthesis in axon guidance, synapse development and neuronal signaling. Efforts are also underway to evaluate different therapeutic modalities in these mouse models of neurological diseases. Our research utilizes an integrated multi-disciplinary approach that involves cellular, molecular, biochemical, physiological, and behavioral methods and paradigms. These studies are expected to reveal new mechanisms important for neuronal development and function, and targeted approaches for therapeutic intervention that treat underlying molecular defects in SMA, Fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorders.