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Postdoctoral Fellows

Y Badawi Yomna Badawi Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and animal models show denervation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), which is a dying-back neuropathy. However, the etiology of ALS and this neuropathy is not known, and interventions are lacking. My research focuses on the evaluation of exercise and stem cells for the amelioration of NMJ denervation in ALS models.
Olivia Eller-Smith Olivia Eller-Smith, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Kyle Baumbauer

More than 100 million Americans currently live with chronic pain, which is more than those suffering from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Unfortunately, the etiology of many chronic pain disorders is unknown, which has led to a lack of effective treatment options. My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying chronic pain to close the gaps in our knowledge. Specifically, I will be studying how inflammation or nerve injury affects the function of nociceptors, which are sensory nerve endings that when sensitized, contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain. Additionally, I will be studying how satellite glial cells that reside around nociceptor cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglia influence nociceptor function. Our goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic pain.
T Matsuda Takashi Matsuda, M.D., Ph.D., Visiting Scientist
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

The potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) therapy has been demonstrated in various in vivo disease models and has shown encouraging results for some possible clinical use. My research focuses on the evaluation of MSC's efficacy for ALS model mouse.
K Okada Kazushi Okada, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Hiroshi Nishimune

Aging is commonly regarded as a complex phenomenon defined as a universal, complicated biological process characterized by the progressive accumulation of diverse, deleterious changes in human over time. One of the distinctive features of aging is a significant reduction in muscle mass and function, termed sarcopenia. Sarcopenia increases tremor, loss of balance control, and a decline in walking ability. Numerous studies indicate that the aging muscle is an important contributor to the deterioration of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) but the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving the degeneration of the synapse still not fully understood. Transcriptome analysis of aging could be used to assess therapies for aging-related diseases in humans. My current research focuses on exploration of the association between differential gene expression profile in skeletal muscle and aging. I will investigate the effect of exercise on muscle gene expression profile because physical exercise training is known to improve muscle strength in elderly.

Last modified: Oct 01, 2019