− Pathogenic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
− Neurovascular changes associated with metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease
My principle research focus is comparative neurobiology with an emphasis on aging, neuroinflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. One of the most distinct features of modern humans is dramatically increased brain size and associated cognitive and behavioral abilities. Unfortunately, a potential consequence of our enlarged brain size and longevity may be a unique susceptibility to age-related neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration that leads to devastating cognitive deficits. Despite substantial progress in recent years, ascertaining neurobiological features that characterize the human brain and its normal and pathologic aging processes relative to other species remains significantly understudied. My research complements a growing number of investigations utilizing an evolutionary perspective to identify neural variances in humans, primates, rodents, and other species to determine possible mechanisms of human vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases.