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Dr. Ransom's research focuses on the physiology and function of glial cells and mechanisms of neural injury associated with ischemia, especially in axonal pathways of the brain. A major goal of his work is to understand how glial cells interact with neurons in the course of normal and pathological brain function.
Ransom’s current studies on glial cells are designed to determine their role in glutamate homeostasis in the brain and their role in brain energy metabolism. These studies are pursued using ion imaging techniques, biochemical analysis (including HPLC) and electrophysiology. He and his colleagues have begun to elucidate the important contributions of ion channels/transport mechanisms in regulating ionic balance and glutamate release. These mechanisms can exert critical influence over the excitability of neuronal populations and may also participate in pathological events like brain ischemia. Ransom's research also relates to neural injury. He is seeking to understand how myelinated axons within the central nervous system are affected by anoxic or ischemic insults during development and in adulthood. Increased knowledge of the basic pathophysiology of neural injury during maturation of the central nervous system will allow development of strategies that minimize the amount of injury in infants who undergo anoxic or ischemic insults.
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