Major Research Areas
Researchers in the College of Graduate Studies focus their efforts where it truly matters—on the diseases and illnesses that affect many people. Much of our research activity is grouped into four areas of concentration: cancer; infectious diseases; disorders of the nervous system; and diabetes, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
- Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology
Research Programs and Affiliations
- Biomedical Sciences Program
- Neuroscience Program
- Neuroscience and Physiology
- Physiology Program
- Research Pillars
Education & Fellowships
- Postdoctoral Fellow: Yale University School of Medicine
- PhD: Rutgers University, 1979
- Neuronal survival and development.
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Neuronal survival and development.
Modification of synaptic neurotransmission at glutamatergic synapses and activation of Ca2+-dependent second messenger systems contribute to the processes of learning and memory, neuronal survival and differentiation. In addition, these systems play important roles in the neuronal dysfunction that is observed following stroke and ischemia, focal epilepsies and Alzheimer’s disease. Our research program is focused on analysis of the expression and functional responsiveness of distinct excitatory amino acid receptors (NMDA subtypes), modulation of responses by Ca+2-dependent protein kinases, and examination of the roles of these receptors and kinases in neuronal survival and differentiation. Dissociated neuronal cultures and knockout mice are used as model systems.
Gerber, A. M., Beaman-Hall, C. M., Mathur, A. and Vallano, M. L. Reduced blockade by extracellular Mg2+ is permissive to NMDA receptor activation in cerebellar granule neurons that model a migratory phenotype. J. Neurochem. 114:191-202, 2010.
Bui C. J., McGann A. C., Middleton F. A., Beaman-Hall C. M. and Vallano M. L. Transcriptional profiling of depolarization-dependent alterations in primary cultures of developing granule neurons. Brain Res. 1119: 13-25, 2006.
Gerber, A. and Vallano, M. L. Structural properties of the NMDA receptor and the design of neuroprotective therapies. Mini-Rev. Med. Chem. 6:109-120, 2006.
Vallano, M. L., Beaman-Hall, C. M., Bui, C. J. and Middleton F. A.. Depolarization and Ca2+ downregulate CB1 receptors and CB1-mediated signaling in cerebellar granule neurons. Neuropharmacol. 50:651-660, 2006.
Monaco E. A. III and Vallano M. L. Roscovitine triggers excitotoxicity in cultured granule neurons by enhancing glutamate release. Mol. Pharmacol. 68: 1331-1342, 2005.
Tremper-Wells, B. and Vallano, M. L. Nuclear calpain regulates Ca2+-dependent signaling via proteolysis of nuclear CaMKIV in neurons. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 2165-2175, 2005.
Monaco, E. A. III and Vallano, M. L. Role of protein kinases in neurodegenerative disease: cyclin-dependent kinases in Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in Biosciences 10: 143-159, 2005.
Tremper-Wells, B. and Vallano, M. L. Nuclear calpain regulates Ca2+-dependent signaling via proteolysis of nuclear CaMKIV in cultured neurons. J. Biol. Chem. 280:2165-2175, 2005.
Choi, J. Y., C.M. Beaman-Hall, C. M. and Vallano, M. L. Granule neurons in cerebellum express distinct splice variants of the inositol trisphosphate receptor that are modulated by calcium. Amer. J. Physiol. Cell 287:C971-C980, 2004.