Ratan Lab

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Laboratory for Redox Biology and Neural Protection and Repair

The central focus of the Ratan laboratory is to understand adaptive programs (post-transcriptional and transcriptional) that facilitate the brain’s ability to combat injury and to foster repair. While the main focus of the lab is stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic) and spinal cord injury, our studies span many different diseases including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Rett Syndrome.

Since its inception in 1994, the laboratory has utilized an in vitro model of oxidative stress to understand the precise mechanisms by which disrupted redox homeostasis leads to death in neurons. This simple model system, which harnesses the experimental leverage of primary neurons in cell culture, has spawned a large number of exciting projects in the lab and projects targeted by progeny of the lab. While stress is primarily sensed in most cells including neurons in the cytoplasm, the major attention of the lab has been on the nucleus.

Our global hypothesis is that disease is a failure of compensation, and better understanding of how the nervous system adapts to injury with a particular focus on epigenetic modulators (HDACs, transglutaminase, MecP2) and transcription factors (Sp1, CREB, HIF-1alpha) as well as enzymes that modulate the stability of these factors (HIF prolyl hydroxylases).

Driving the adaptive response to repair the injured brain.

Driving the adaptive response to repair the injured brain.

Featured Research Projects

RESEARCH PROJECT: 
In Progress
Researchers have developed an in vitromodel to mimic hemorrhagic stroke using hemin, which induces cell death in various neuronal cell types that is rescued by PHD inhibitors.
RESEARCH PROJECT: 
In Progress
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) accounts for about 15% of all strokes and has the highest mortality rates among strokes with up to 50% within 30 days after the insult. It is known to increase intracranial pressure and is associated with excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
RESEARCH PROJECT: 
In Progress
Oxidative stress is an event associated with a variety of neurological disorders, including stroke. It occurs when neurons are unable to maintain reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis.

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Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.

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