Professor Laleh Najafizadeh is part of a team receiving a grant from the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research. The title of the project is "Role of Cortical Network Plasticity in Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury" and the award amount is $540,000. This project is in collaboration with Professor David Margolis (PI) from the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience (CBN) in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers, and Professor Janet Alder from the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The project uses a mouse model along with novel imaging and quantitative methods to investigate brain plasticity underlying recovery from traumatic brain injury, and to screen candidate drugs with potential therapeutic value for treating traumatic brain injury. There is a critical need to discover treatments that improve recovery of brain function after injury. Little is known about how brain activity changes in response to the initial injury and how these changes cause lasting detrimental effects on mental function and behavior. The proposed experiments and analytical methods aim to identify the mechanisms and timing of the brain’s recovery from injury and to relate brain changes in the same subjects to cognitive and behavioral recovery.