Led by principal investigator Stefanie Robel, Ph.D., the Robel Lab studies the role of astrocytes, star-shaped glial cells, in the development and progression of central nervous system diseases. The Robel Lab seeks to elucidate the role of astrocytes after repeated mild traumatic brain injury.
The Robel Lab studies the fascinating changes that astrocytes undergo in neurological disease or when the brain is injured by trauma, and asks how these changes affect astrocyte functions:
- at the synapse where astrocytes are responsible for maintaining ion and neurotransmitter homeostasis
- at the network level - Do local changes in astrocyte function affect neuronal network function?
- at the vasculature where astrocytes contribute to maintenance of the blood-brain barrier and regulation of blood flow.
The lab seeks understanding of how cellular changes affect astrocyte physiology in the context of brain injury or disease and if these may contribute to neurodegeneration and dementia.