The Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences (CBLS) at Missouri State University is committed to the development and support of advanced biotechnology industries, utilizing knowledge gained in our research to improve human health.
Target areas of interest include:
- Neurological pathology and treatment
- Bioactivity of natural products
- Drug discovery
- Pathological microbiology
- Chemical testing and analysis
Our focus lies in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in neuron-glia interactions that promote and sustain chronic peripheral and central sensitization. A primary goal of our research is to determine the signaling pathways by which inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents control neuropeptide gene expression in disorders involving the trigeminal nerve.
Currently, we are studying the regulation of the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide gene (CGRP) expression in cultured and trigeminal neurons, neuronal-like cell lines, in vivo animal models, and clinical studies.
Another major focus of our research has been to elucidate the cellular/molecular mechanisms mediated by anti-migraine drugs and inflammatory stimuli that activate MAP kinase pathways in neurons and glial cells within the trigeminal ganglion and spinal trigeminal nucleus.
In addition, we have begun to study the effects of nutraceutical compounds on neuronal-glial cell interactions within the ganglion and spinal trigeminal nucleus under normal and inflammatory conditions. We have also initiated studies to identify novel biological compounds that inhibit inflammatory pathways and regulate miRNA expression, and have been investigating the mechanism of action of a novel drug to treat epilepsy using primary hippocampal cultures and in vivo models.
More recently, we have also begun to use denatured gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to study changes in the bacteria resideing the the digestive system in repsonse to prolonged inflammatory conditions (acute to chronic pain) and alterations in diet.