Department of Neuroscience

JacquelineBresnahanProfessor Emeritus, Neuroscience
Professor, Neurological Surgery, Brain and Spinal Injury Center, University of California at San Francisco

College of Medicine
Department of Neuroscience

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Center
Department of Neurological Surgery
University of California, San Francisco
1001 Potrero Ave. Room 101
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415-206-3859
Email: jacqueline.bresnahan@ucsf.edu

Research Interests:

  • Development, plasticity and regeneration in the nervous system
  • Spinal cord injury and recovery of function
  • Spinal cord reflexes and their neural substrates
  • Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and behavioral neuroscience

Current Research:
Ongoing projects include:

  1. Studies of spinal cord injury focused on understanding the neural bases of recovery of function and methods to enhance recovery. This work focuses on analyzing recovered locomotion using a variety of quantitative measures, the anatomical substrates for spared function using a variety of anatomical techniques, and potential treatments to enhance recovery.
  2. Studies of eliminative and sexual reflexes focused on understanding the normal organization of these reflex systems and their reorganization after spinal cord injury. These experiments utilize a variety of physiological, anatomical and behavioral techniques with a focus on structure-function correlations.
  3. Studies of cell death and regeneration after CNS injury, emphasizing the cellular events that determine which cells die, and whether new cells and regenerating axons can contribute to repair.

Research Techniques: Our laboratories use a variety of techniques to study plasticity and recovery of function, and collaborations with several other laboratories offer additional training opportunities. Current projects include the use of the following devices and techniques: scanning laser confocal microscopy; electron microscopy; neural cell death image processing and analysis, and computer-based three-dimensional reconstruction and visualization; immunocytochemistry for peptides, neurotransmitters, receptors and cytokines; single-unit and electromyograph (EMG) recording; iontophoresis and micropressure application of drugs and transmitters; behavioral analysis of recovery of function, including kinematic analysis of locomotion and reflexes; and a variety of additional neuroanatomical techniques. Tissue culture is used to examine cell death pathways. Collaborative projects use in situ hybridization, receptor binding techniques and neuropharmacological approaches.


Microscopy: Scanning laser confocal microscopy; electron microscopy; neural cell death image processing and analysis; microscopic and autoradiographic image processing and analysis, and computer-based three-dimensional reconstruction and visualization
Neurochemical: Immunocytochemistry for peptides, neurotransmitters, receptors and cytokines
Electrophysiological: Single-unit and EMG recording; iontophoresis and micropressure application of drugs and transmitters
Molecular: Tissue culture is used to examine cell death pathways
Behavioral: Behavioral analysis of recovery of function — including kinematic analysis of locomotion and reflexes, and a variety of additional neuroanatomical techniques
Other: Collaborative projects use in situ hybridization and other molecular techniques including transplantation of neural precursors and some transfer methods using viral vectors

PubMed articles

Education:
Degree: The Ohio State University
Postdoctoral: The Ohio State University, Drs. George Martin and James King

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