Canyon Neuroscience Group


Canyon Neuroscience Group

The Canyon Neuroscience Group focuses on the investigation of basic science questions relating to the function of the brain and nervous system, using different approaches from human studies to genetic studies with Drosophila melanogaster to cell and molecular studies using tissue culture models.  

Heart Rate Variability (HRV): The overarching purpose of this study is to measure and analyze correlations between stress, anxiety and depression factors with Heart Rate Variability (HRV), including gender, ethnicity and daily habits, such as, caffeine consumption, exercise, area of study, and more. HRV can be used to quantitatively assess the status of the autonomic nervous system and has been shown to have utility in the clinical management of heart disease and early prediction of certain diseases For this reason, correlations between stress, anxiety, and depression with HRV are evaluated in order to contribute to the established research regarding the use of HRV in clinical diagnosis and treatment (PI: Anju Dubey).


Studies in Pediatric Brain Cancer: Our lab examines the efficacy of naturally occurring compounds that are putative antioxidants and neuroprotective chemicals. These compounds will be tested on human cell culture models including neuroblastoma and pediatric brain cancer cell lines. Cancerous cells in the brain indicate elevated oxidative stress along with other changes in cellular signal transduction pathways, such as the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Our projects will examine effects related to oxidative stress and MAPK signaling. II) Chemotherapy is very important for mitigating brain cancer, but chemotherapy is known to have negative side effects on the human gut microbiome. However, information about effects of chemotherapeutics on the human skin and mouth microbiome is lacking. We will study the effects of brain cancer chemotherapeutic agents on the human mouth and skin microbiome. (PI: Madhavi Chakravadhanula).


Neuroprotection: In multiple studies, we will combine molecular and histological techniques to examine the effects of putative neuroprotective compounds in models of neurodegenerative disease. Some of this work involves exposing human neuroblastoma and neuroglial cell lines to conditions that result in inflammatory events such as in Alzheimer’s disease (PIs: Sherlin Moses, Hikmet Nural-Guvener). Other work will focus on various neuroprotective compounds that may help to prevent the progression of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The initial stages of the study will assess various compounds to determine if pre-treatment prophylaxis can help to reduce the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms, involving both systematic reviews as well as rat models comparing the efficacy of various compounds (PI: Randall D. Ordovich Clarkson).

Affiliated Investigators: Click the investigators name to read bio

Sherlin Moses                                [email protected]

Anju Dubey                                    [email protected]

Madhavi Chakravadhanula         [email protected]

Hikmet Nural-Guvener             [email protected]

Randall D. Ordovich Clarkson  [email protected]

Maurice Jabbour                            [email protected]

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