Dr. John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair
in Brain Research and Teaching
Professor and Chair
Department of Neuroscience
Departments of Neuroscience & Psychology
Degree: University of California, Berkeley
Post-Doctoral Training: University of Texas, Drs. Frank Bronson and Claude Desjardins
Phone: (614) 688-8327
Fax: (614) 688-8742
Dr. Nelson's website
Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Seasonal Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, Psychoneuroimmunology, Behavioral Genetics.
Our basic research program addresses the effects of interactions among the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems on health. We work on a number of inflammatory disorders including models of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD; winter depression), cardiovascular diseases, dysregulation of fever, cancer, and stress disorders. Funded projects include studies of the following topics: (1) how does day length change affect development of the immune function and seasonal coping with stressors, (2) what is the role of day length in brain plasticity including neural birth and death in adult brains, changes in neural connectivity, long-term potentiation, and epigenetic changes, (2) what is the role of light-at-night on physiological and behavioral responses including immune, metabolic, and affective responses, and (4) what is the interaction between stressors and seasonal immune and disease processes. Current projects in the lab include: studies of sickness behaviors, stress and coping, molecular mechanisms of stress, seasonal immune function, photoperiodic regulation of angiogenesis, stress, melatonin, and wound healing.
Another area of research in the lab involves using transgenic mice including those with targeted deletion of specific gene protein products that are involved in motivated behaviors such as reproductive or aggressive behaviors. We currently are working on a variety of knockout mice.
- In vivo microdialysis
- In situ hybridization
- Flow cytometry
- Cellular proliferation tests
- Antibody measurement
- Western blot and Northern blot analyses
- Behavioral Testing
- Brain lesions
- Gene arrays
- Small animal surgery