My research as part of the CounterACT project involves investigating novel neuroprotectants following acute exposures to organophosphates, which are powerful acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or the rodenticide TETS which blocks GABAA receptors in the central nervous system.
I am a graduate student in the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group. Prior to attending graduate school, I spent 8 years in the US Navy where I realized that more research was needed on how prescription drugs or chemical exposure can alter the behavior of humans. I returned to university in 2013 to study the biology and psychology of the brain at Washington State University. I joined the Lein Lab in 2016 to continue learning about how drug or chemical exposure can affect the brain to alter behavior or produce neuropathology.
Dr. Chaudhari's lab develops and validates novel medical imaging techniques, focusing on diseases of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems. The research group utilizes a range of imaging modalities that include MRI, PET, SPECT, CT, ultrasound, and optical imaging, in both preclinical and clinical settings.
The general focus of my research is the calcium signaling in skeletal muscle and brain cells. The primary focus is the function and pharmacology of calcium release mechanisms in sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum as well as calcium entry mechanisms in plasma membrane in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Dr. Ashish Dhir is an Associate Project Scientist at the University of California, Davis with 14 years of experience in neurology research. At the CounterACT Center, Dr. Dhir is conducting tests of antiseizure agents in models of acute seizures (status epilepticus) and lethality produced by chemical threat agents of the organophosphate cholinesterase-inhibiting type, including DFP. He is also involved in the development of spontaneous recurrent seizures through long-term monitoring following DFP-induced status epilepticus.
Dr. Feng's research focuses on molecular and biophysical aspects revealing structure and function of ion channels, especially ryanodine receptors with associated proteins in mammalian skeletal, cardiac muscles and brain. He also studies molecular mechanisms of genetic and environmental influences on cellular Ca2+ signaling.
Tracey Fernandez oversees the CounterACT finances, coordinates Center meetings and retreats, sets up seminars and workshops, assists with the preparation of progress reports and budgets, and is the main resource for all Center communications.
My interest in biomedical research began with my undergraduate training in environmental and molecular toxicology. I have since been trained in neurotoxicology and neuropharmacology as a doctoral student working under Dr. Pamela Lein. The CounterACT program has allowed me to combine my passions for toxicology, public health, and national security by applying my knowledge of toxicology to counterterrorism research against chemical weapons.
Dr. Hammock, Distinguished Professor of Entomology, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a toxicologist and bioorganic chemist with extensive experience in pharmacology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his work on immunoassays and sensors for toxins. He has directed a mass spectrometry-based analytical laboratory serving multiple NIH funded projects across the UC Davis campus for 15 years. He is trained in drug metabolism and has worked in metabolomics for many years.
Danielle J. Harvey, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine, at UC Davis. Her research primarily focuses on the statistical analysis of neuroimaging data. For the past fifteen years, she has worked in the area of Alzheimer’s disease, with particular emphasis on the use of neuroimaging to identify markers of disease progression.