Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine clinical researchers use cutting edge technologies in clinical research studies. The research areas cover a broad spectrum including; the early identification, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury/concussion and posttraumatic stress.  Among these are advanced neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), virtual reality therapy, exercise therapy, and new applications for FDA investigational and approved drugs.

 

Featured Researchers

David L. Brody, M.D., Ph.D.

David L. Brody, M.D., Ph.D.

David L. Brody, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) and a professor of Neurology within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a board-certified neurologist with both a research and a clinical specialization in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on accelerating better outcomes for U.S. military TBI patients.

Prior to his current positions, Dr. Brody was the Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Brody was also the Washington University site director for the National Football League's Neurological Care Foundation.

His achievements have been recognized with several awards, including a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Brody is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurotrauma and Acta Neuropathologica and a permanent member of the National Institute of Health Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy study section.

Dr. Brody earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at Washington University.

Leighton Chan, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Leighton Chan, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

“The CNRM provides a unique opportunity to help those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

Dr. Chan is the Chief of Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the Clinical Center at National Institutes of Health (NIH), Co-Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM), and the Co-Director of the Rehabilitation and Evaluation Program. He received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College, with a major in political science. He graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1990. Chan then completed postgraduate training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington. During his training he also obtained a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation science. Subsequently, he completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Fellowship, earned a master of public health degree at the University of Washington School of Public Health and was a Congressional Fellow for the representative, Honorable Jim McDermott (D-WA). From 1994 to 2006, Dr. Chan was on the faculty of the University of Washington's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and in electrodiagnostic medicine.

Louis French, Psy.D.

Louis French, Psy.D.

"The war has brought with it great tragedy. We have a responsibility to make as much as we can out of what has happened. It's been my goal to take one piece of this--traumatic brain injury, and better understand its impact on the individual and figure out how to maximize a person's functioning after they've been injured."

Dr. Louis French is the Chief of TBI, Department of Rehabilitation, WRNMMC. He is also the Acting Director of Research for the DVBIC network and the site director for DVBIC at WRNMMC. He is a lead investigator with the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM).

Dr. French received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the George Washington University. He completed fellowships in clinical and experimental neuropsychology at the National Institute of Mental Health and in neuropsychology, focusing on TBI at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at WRNMMC. Dr. French is the Chief of TBI, Department of Rehabilitation, WRNMMC. He is also the Acting Director of Research for the DVBIC network and the site director for DVBIC at WRNMMC; the largest site in that network.

Dr. French is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the screening, assessment, and rehabilitation of those with TBI at the largest military care facility in the Department of Defense (DoD) network. In his current role, Dr. French has participated in multiple Federal panels and workgroups about TBI in the military, helping to shape current policy on screening and treatment for TBI on the battlefield and at home. These included the Army Surgeon General’s Taskforce on TBI, whose report provided the foundation for the structure of TBI screening and treatment that is currently in place in the DoD. He was one of the authors who reshaped the SAC to construct the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE), which is the standard for concussion screening in theater. At WRAMC, he participates in a diversified research portfolio. He is principal investigator on eight studies of TBI in returning Service Members. He is a lead investigator with the CNRM. He is also an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Jessica M. Gill, Ph.D., R.N.

Jessica M. Gill, Ph.D., R.N.

The CNRM provides a way to bring together researchers in a collaborative manner to maximize our ability to treat individuals impacted by brain injury. The focus of my research is to use novel biomarkers to identify patients most at risk, and to inform methods to mitigate these risks.

My interest in traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder began early in my career, when working as a nurse with veterans and civilians impacted by trauma. I questioned why some individuals recovered; whereas others went on to develop chronic symptoms and deficits. These observations lead me to pursue a PhD at Johns Hopkins University and then a post-doctoral fellowship at NIH following this. I am currently a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar and primary investigator at NIH, in the National Institute of Nursing Research. My research program is focused on improving our ability to mitigate the impact of brain injury on the lives of many individuals, including military personnel, athletes and patients with mild traumatic brain injury. Specifically my research program examines the mechanisms related to neurological and neurobehavrioral symptoms and deficits following brain injury, including sports concussion, mild and moderate traumatic brain injuries in clinical patients and military personnel with blast related injuries. We focus on biomarkers that relate to the risk for chronic symptoms and include genomic and proteomic methods of investigation. The ultimate goal is to identify pharmacological agents or other interventional methods to mitigate the neurological and  behavioral risks that head injuries pose.

Lawrence L. Latour, Ph.D.

Lawrence L. Latour, Ph.D.

"My research interests focus on the use of MRI to better identify, classify, and treat acute stroke and brain injury."

Dr. Latour is a Staff Scientist at National Institute of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Principal Investigator of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) Acute Studies Program. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After receiving the US DOE Alexander Hollander Distinguished Post-doctoral Fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, he became Director of Applied Science at Medical Advances with an appointment in Medical Physics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Latour was recruited to NINDS- DIR as a Staff Scientist in 2000 to help build the Section on Stroke Diagnostics and Therapeutics. The Section conducts clinical research at the Stroke Centers of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland and Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia, where the NINDS has placed stroke teams and MRI research facilities. Over the past three years, Dr. Latour has assembled a team to study civilians with acute head injury as part of the DOD funded CNRM and is currently the Director of the Acute Studies Core. His research interests focus on the use of MRI to better identify, classify, and treat acute stroke and brain injury.

Michael J. Roy, M.D., M.P.H.

Michael J. Roy, M.D., M.P.H.

"I really enjoy applying innovative techniques and technologies to improve the care we provide to service members, such as using virtual reality and smart phone applications to improve the treatment of PTSD."

Dr. Roy is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Military Internal Medicine at Uniformed Services University (USUHS) and Principal Investigator of Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) Recruitment Core. He is a graduate of Brown University and Brown University School of Medicine, completed medicine residency and a general medicine fellowship at WRNMMC, and retired as a colonel after 24 years in the Army. Dr. Roy is the principal investigator on multiple studies on war-related health, often using cutting edge technologies such as fMRI and virtual reality.

Dr. Roy was the first to document significant improvement in brain function after exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress (PTS), using fMRI to show that all key areas of the brain were better after treatment. He also has identified imaging findings and genetic markers that might help to predict who is at high risk for having difficulties after deployment. His current studies include one using smart phone-based applications to decrease symptoms after deployment, terrorism, and natural disasters, and others comparing virtual reality and imaginal exposure therapy for PTSD, as well as whether the antibiotic d-cycloserine can add value to either of these treatments.

Eric Wasserman, M.D.

Eric Wasserman, M.D.

"The world is full of statistically significant effects; our goal is to find things that actually work for people and can be put into practice with a minimum of expense and regulation, and to do good science along the way.”

Dr. Wassermann is a Staff Clinician at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Co-Director of Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Neuroplasticity Program. Dr. Wasserman received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied behavioral neurophysiology with C.R. Gallistel, and his M.D. from New York Medical College. He is a clinical neurologist with specialty training and extensive experience in neurobehavioral disorders. He currently heads the NINDS Behavioral Neurology Unit. He began his clinical research career at the NINDS Human Motor Control Section, studying the physiology of the human motor system with an emphasis on recovery of function after brain damage. His current interest is in investigating the mechanisms of learning and in order to find ways of accelerating the process in healthy people and patients undergoing rehabilitation. Approaches currently under study in his laboratory include adding extrinsic reward to procedural learning tasks and using short bursts of intense exercise to enhance memory consolidation. His group also conducts more descriptive clinical studies of military TBI and other populations with disorders of cognition and reward system function. In addition to behavioral outcomes, his laboratory uses functional MRI and transcranial brain stimulation techniques to investigate brain mechanisms.

Dara L. Dickstein, PhD

Dara L. Dickstein, PhD

Dara L. Dickstein, PhD is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Dr. Dickstein's PhD work focused on the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and utilized transgenic animal models along with various biochemical and anatomical techniques. She continued in the field of AD in her postdoctoral fellowship, exploring the structural changes in neurons and synapses with disease progression. Currently, Dr. Dickstein's research interests are directed towards the study of selective neuronal vulnerability in ageing, dementia, and other neurodegenerative disorders, using classical neuropathological as well as modern quantitative methods. During her tenure at ISMMS, she contributed to the creation of automated quantitative software tools (NeuronStudio) and Neurolucida360, in conjunction with MBF Biosciences. This software enables accurate 3D analysis of individual neurons in the brain at very high resolution. Through this research, Dr. Dickstein has established much national and international collaboration, and have become an expert in the techniques of intracellular injections, fluorescence quantification, confocal, and electron microscopy.

More recently, Dr. Dickstein's research interests lay in the field of traumatic brain injury in both animal models and in humans. In animal models of blast-related injury, she is extending her expertise in vascular and neuronal pathology and in humans; expanding her knowledge base to neuroimaging with MRI and PET. To date Dr. Dickstein has published over 35 in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and 7 in the field of traumatic brain injury.

Current Studies

Read more about current clinical research studies

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