Principal Investigators S-Z
Alla Segalchik, PA-C
Ms. Segalchik is interested in Epilepsy and ALS research.
Teri L. Schreiner, MD, MPH
Dr. Schreiner's research interests include genetic and environmental triggers of pediatric multiple sclerosis, immunotherapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and quality of life in pediatric patients with demyelinating diseases. In collaboration with others on campus, she also studies biomarkers of disease activity in MS.
Archana A. Shrestha, MD
Dr. Shrestha studies medically refractory epilepsy and epilepsy surgery. She also is interested in women’s issues in epilepsy and the influence of female hormones on seizures and epilepsy. ICU continuous EEG monitoring. Epilepsy in developing countries.
Stefan Sillau, PhD
Dr. Sillau's interests include regression, generalized linear models, longitudinal data and mixed models, covariates measured with error, survival and event analysis, non-parametric/semi-parametric methods, clinical trials, sampling, and missing data issues.
Jennifer Simpson, MD
Dr. Simpson has multiple quality improvement projects, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. She has outpatient initiatives that help to reduce admissions and improve patient experience in clinic. On the inpatient side, she is working to improve efficiency and timeliness of acute stroke treatment. She is also the local principal investigator for a national trial involving patients with transient ischemic attack.
John R Sladek, Jr. Ph.D
Dr. Sladek’s laboratory, since his early publications on the chemical neuroanatomy of mammalian brain, has focused on the unique distribution of the histologically identifiable monoamine neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin as well as peptidergic neurons of the hypothalamus including vasopressin, oxytocin, LHRH and others. His laboratory developed dual localization techniques that permitted detailed studies in higher order primates. His interests in the role these neurotransmitters played in normal brain function led to novel investigations during development and aging that suggested functional interactions between specific systems. In 1980, his pivotal publication in Science demonstrated that fetal neurons could be transplanted to the brain of a genetic mutant rat that that was incapable of producing vasopressin and that grafted fetal neurons could survive, integrate with the host brain and restore a lost neural function. This lead to new and continuing studies on the potential for fetal dopamine neurons to restore motor activity in a primate model of Parkinson’s disease. His proof of principle findings led to the first clinical trials in parkinson patients and in recent years have been extended to incorporate human neural stem cells in the experimental protocols. Professor Sladek continues his exploration of the ability of the primate brain to respond to various neural repair strategies including the potential for induction of neurogenesis in response to injury. His work has been supported continuously by NIH, NSF and several foundations since 1974. Dr. Sladek is the founding President of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, has presented his work at over 350 invited meetings and seminars and is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the journal, Experimental Neurology.
Mark C. Spitz, MD
Dr. Spitz’ clinical research includes epilepsy that begins in the elderly, psychiatric aspects of epilepsy and physical injuries that occur from seizures. Dr. Spitz is involved in several ongoing medication trials.
Laura A. Strom, MD
Dr. Strom is currently working on investigator initiated clinical research with two different areas of interest. She continues to be very interested in the influence on patients with medically refractory epilepsy of the autonomic nervous system. She is working with resident physician, Dr. Peter Bergmann on a project to investigate how heart rate variability may predict changes in heart rate during seizure activity. Her second area of active interest is in the impact on epilepsy of hormones. She is working with another resident, Dr. Danielle McDermott to develop a research project looking at fluctuations in sex hormone levels in patient with medically refractory epilepsy. In addition to clinical research, Dr. Strom is primary investigator for several industry sponsored clinical trials of novel anti-epileptics as well as novel uses for anti-epileptic drugs which are already on the market.
Jean Tsai, MD
Dr. Tsai is interested in the regulation of sleep and the biological effects of sleep. The interaction between sleep disorders and neurological diseases, such as that between sleep apnea and stroke, RBD and neurodegenerative disorders, and RLS and movement disorders, is an area of particular importance.
Kenneth L. Tyler, MD
Dr. Tyler’s laboratory uses both in vivo and in vitro models to study the molecular and genetic basis of viral pathogenesis and viral-induced cell death. A major research effort investigates the mechanisms by which viruses induce apoptosis. Current projects include: (1) investigating the role played by specific viral genes and the proteins they encode in triggering apoptosis; (2) identifying the role of apoptosis in mediating virus-induced tissue injury in various target organs, including the CNS in vivo (3) defining the cellular pathways by which apoptosis is induced in virus- infected cells. Studies of cellular mechanisms of apoptosis currently involve investigations into virus-induced alterations in MAP kinase and other signal transduction pathways, transcriptional activators including c-Jun and NF-kB, the use of genomic microarray and proteomic technology to identify genes and proteins altered during viral infection of target cells, and identifying death-receptor and mitochondrial caspase signaling pathways. Further details about specific personnel and their projects can be found on the Tyler Lab web site. Ongoing clinical research includes projects sponsored by the Collaborative Antiviral Study Group, the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and the Neurologic AIDS Research Consortium in areas of West Nile virus infection, herpes encephalitis, and the neurological complications of HIV infection.
Jaskiran Vidwan, DO
Dr. Vidwan’s research interests include the finding of non-pharmacologic therapies for treatment of migraine. Particularly, she is interested in the role of peripheral nerve blocks and headache.
Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Dr. Vollmer is the Director of Neurosciences Clinical Research. He is currently involved as Principles Investigator of Sub Investigator in 26 clinical trials in multiples sclerosis at the University of Colorado, with participation in additional studies in the near future. Many of these studies involve immunotherapies for the treatment of this disease. Dr. Vollmer has a particular interest in investigator initiated clinical trials focusing on optimizing current therapies and combinations of therapies. To date, Dr. Vollmer has completed over 100 clinical studies in MS. He is active in the local, regional and international communities conducting research in MS. He lectures frequently in the United States and Europe.
Ashish A. Vyas, MD
Dr. Ashish has research interest in continuous EEG monitoring in critically ill patient and in patients with status epilepticus, and refinement of techniques for source localization in focal epilepsy. He is also interested in clinical drug trials and outcome studies in epilepsy and use of compressed spectral data of improvement of techniques of quantitative electroencepha-lography to facilitate easy detection. Apart from epilepsy, study of autonomic dysfunction in parkinson patients is another research area of his interest.
Anastacia Wall, PA-C
Ms. Wall's research interests include immunotherapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and quality of life in patients with demyelinating diseases.
Jonathan H. Woodcock, MD
Dr. Woodcock directs clinical research projects in dementia including medication trials in Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive and functional deficits in adults with Down syndrome, and assessment and management of behavioral syndromes in dementia.
Xiaoli Yu, PhD
Dr. Yu’s research investigates the specificity of IgG in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) using phage-displayed peptide libraries approach. A hallmark of MS is the persistence of oligoclonal IgG and elevated numbers of B cells in the CNS. Our published studies have demonstrated the antigen-driven response of clonally expanded B cells in MS. We are using recombinant antibodies generated from these B cells to identify peptide epitopes/mimotopes by panning phage-displayed random peptide libraries. The specificity of the peptides is confirmed by ELISA, immunoblot and competitive inhibition assays. By applying a highly sensitive phage mediated immuno-PCR technique, these peptides are screened for bindings to IgG in multiple MS patients. MS peptides can then be used to determine the corresponding protein antigens using bioinformatics approach. Identification of MS antigens has the potential to determine the cause of disease, and to develop strategies for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.
W. Michael Zawada, PhD
We seek to discover universal pathogenic mechanisms underlying the earliest stages of neurodegeneration and target these causal entities in an attempt to develop disease-modifying treatments across a spectrum of neurodegenerative conditions. In particular, using patient brain tissues as well as mouse models, we have highlighted the role of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in initiation and maintenance of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and in Alzheimer’s, where the loss of control over RAS-mediated signaling in neurons and glia promulgates neuronal stress, dysfunction, and death. In this vein, we discovered that neurons generate all of the constituent proteins of RAS that act to modulate signaling cascades involving NADPH oxidase (Nox)-driven neurooxidation, neuroinflammation, neurogenesis, neurotransmission, and proteostasis. These previously unrecognized functions of intraneuronal RAS challenge earlier hypotheses attempting to describe early triggers of degenerative processes in the brain. At present, we are investigating how therapeutic modifiers of RAS-linked signaling cascades, such as angiotensin receptor blockers (e.g., telmisartan), might interfere with injurious processes and promote neuronal resilience in models of degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Down’s syndrome.