Care of the neurologically impaired patient is a growing and important aspect of healthcare today. Neurological impairments requiring specialized knowledge and care span a wide spectrum from chronic pain, epilepsy, drug addiction, and paralysis due to spinal injury or stroke, to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Recent advances in the broad discipline of Neuroscience has enhanced our fundamental knowledge of neural function and contributed to the development of novel therapeutic interventions such as the pharmacologic or mechanical removal of intravascular brain thrombi, and the implantation of brain electrodes to control muscular function. Despite these advancements in knowledge and treatment modalities, we are just scratching the surface, and there will continue to be an increasing demand for neuroscience research to meet the expanding needs for new drugs and technology to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. The ability to translate basic scientific research into clinical settings is vital to the advancement of neurological care, and the School of Medicine is active in both clinical and basic neuroscience research.
An advanced basic neuroscience research laboratory, under the direction of Dr. John Wang, has been established at the SOM. The research focuses on molecular signaling mechanisms triggered by drugs of abuse, as well as those used in clinical anesthesiology. Dr. Xiangping Chu is another important member of the neursoscience research group. His research focuses on the functional role of ion channels in ischemic brain injury.