Projects

The objective of this project is to find new and improved medical countermeasures for acute seizures caused by two broad classes of chemical threat agents: organophosphate (OP) anticholinesterase inhibitors and GABAA receptor antagonists. These countermeasures aim to improve the survival and long-term prognosis for those exposed to toxic levels of these chemicals by stopping or preventing seizures.

In the case of accidental or terrorist release of organophosphate (OP) anticholinesterase inhibitors or the GABAA antagonist TETS, it is likely medical support will be unavailable for the first 30 to 60 minutes after people start exhibiting seizures. This means the processes that promote brain damage will have already been set in motion. The objective of project 2 is to identify therapies for treating the delayed neurological effects of intoxication with these chemical threat agents.

The disruption of electrical and Ca2+ signaling events is known to contribute to the induction and severity of seizures as well as promote brain damage. One of the main objectives of this project is to develop in vitro / ex vivo models, or models of isolated tissue, by using high-content, rapid throughput technology to detect these disruptions. Using rapid throughput technology allows for many samples to be processed at once, increasing efficiency.