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Susan Campbell

Assistant Professor
  • Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Synopsis:

Dr. Campbell studies mechanisms that underlie dysfunction in neuron and glia cells that produce abnormal synchronous activity leading to neuronal hyperexcitability. These dysfunctions are related to cognitive processes, neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy.

Description:

Our brain cells communicate with one another by a process known as synaptic transmission, which forms the basis of our thoughts and perception. In human patients with epilepsy, aberrant synaptic transmission contributes to seizures.

Dr. Campbellā€™s current research is aimed at understanding mechanisms by which altered synaptic communication leads to the development of epilepsy in the adult and pediatric brain. One goal is to identify unconventional biomarkers that may serve as therapeutic targets to treat refractory epilepsy. An accumulating body of research implicates the involvement of the gut microbiome in the development of various neurological diseases including epilepsy. Dr. Campbell studies the role of the gut microbiota in modulating synaptic transmission and seizure susceptibility in various epilepsy models.

The lab is also interested in studying the interaction between anti-epileptic drugs and the gut microbiota in the treatment of epilepsy. Ultimately, the goal is to identify the mechanisms by which gut microbes affect neuronal and glia cell function and modulate seizure activity, and then develop deliberate manipulation of the gut microbiota as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate seizure activity.

The Campbell lab utilizes a variety of methodologies including electrophysiological techniques to probe changes in the function of neuronal circuits, EEG recordings, modern molecular approaches and 16S rRNA sequencing.