Current Research

Pre-clinical testing of a novel immunotherapy [recombinant T cell receptor ligand (RTL)] to improve cognitive recovery and brain healing following methamphetamine dependence: From mice to men. This NIH challenge grant will characterize methamphetamine's effects on peripheral and central immune function, and it will pre-clinically test the therapeutic efficacy of RTL in reducing methamphetamine-induced cognitive impairment, neuronal loss, and neuroinflammation in mice.

Novel RTL treatment to promote brain repair and cognitive recovery following methamphetamine addiction. This NIH Phase 1 small business technology transfer (STTR) grant will determine if the ability of recombinant T cell receptor ligand (RTL)-551 to reverse methamphetamine-induced neuronal degeneration and cognitive dysfunction in mice is gender specific and must target myelin-specific T cells. These studies are crucial for evaluating the possible clinical application of a similar human RTL construct for treatment of subjects with methamphetamine addition.

Cognitive and cortical effects of hepatitis C and interferon therapy. The goal of this VA-funded study is to better characterize the effects of hepatitis C viral infection and interferon therapy on cognitive function, brain structure and function, and peripheral immune activation.

Inflammatory mediators in depression and HCV treatment. The goal of this VA-funded study is to investigate the influence of p38 MAP kinase inhibition on inflammatory gene regulation, cytokine expression and depressive-like behaviors in mice, and in humans with hepatitis C.