Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., affecting 5.3 million Americans each year and costing the U.S. economy over $60 billion annually. Despite these alarming figures, few clinical trials for TBI intervention have proven successful and pharmacological treatment options remain limited.
The lack of effective interventions likely stems from an incomplete understanding of how molecular alterations at the single cell level influence the activity of the neuronal network as a whole, which ultimately governs behavior. A better understanding of both the immediate reactions to injury and the long-term response of the injured neural network will lead to the development of novel strategies for reducing damage and promoting repair.
TBI is a unique disease paradigm, consisting of mechanical and biochemical events. As bioengineers and neuroscientists, we are best poised to tackle TBI on both fronts. We employ molecular biology tools, combined with computational neuroscience, high speed imaging of neural network activity, and neurobehavior to study the full spectrum of TBI.
Research in the Meaney lab is both diverse and specialized. Our group consists of an in silico, an in vitro, and an in vivo research teams (see the Projects page for more about the research).