Richard D. Mooney, Ph.D.
Office: 185 Block Health Science Building
1976: PhD, University of Minnesota
1979: National Eye Institute NRSA, University of Colorado
Mammalian brain development and capacity for nerve cell circuits in the brain to reorganize following injury to peripheral and central portions of the nervous system. The main questions involve: 1. how nerve cells use chemical and physiological instructions to reach their targets and form accurate connections during development and 2. types of rearrangements, including compensation and decompensation, in neural circuitry after brain damage or peripheral nerve injury.
Brain development and neural reorganization is studied in rats, primarily, using in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology and natomical techniques that reveal individual nerve fibers and patterning in groups of fibers. Chemical guidance cues within the brain are assayed chiefly using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Recently, nascent efforts also include use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, structural and functional approaches) to address related issues about brain alterations in humans who
have suffered limb injury and loss due to trauma or vascular disease.
References (Partial List):
Lane RD, Chiaia NL, Kesterson KL, Rhoades RW, Mooney RD. Boundary-limited serotonergic influences on pattern organization in rat sensory cortex. Neurosci Lett. 2005;395:165-169.
Wang X, Bauer W, Chiaia N, Dennis M, Gerken M, Hummel J, Kane J, Kenmuir C, Khuder S, Lane R, Mooney R, Bazeley P, Apkarian V, Wall J. Longitudinal MRI evaluations of human global cortical thickness over minutes to weeks. Neurosci Lett. 2008;441:145-48.
Lane RD, Pluto CP, Kenmuir CL, Chiaia NL, Mooney RD. Does reorganization in the cuneate nucleus following neonatal forelimb amputation influence development of anomalous circuits within the somatosensory cortex? J Neurophysiol. 2008; 99:866-875.