Dartmouth College (1975)
Postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California
Central Nervous System, Aging, Plasticity and Regeneration
My research focuses on characterizing the mechanisms underlying regeneration and the recovery of function in the central nervous system (CNS). I am especially interested in the CNS pathways regulating motor functions. Many of my studies have been directed towards the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system which undergoes degenerative changes in both Parkinson’s disease and aging. These studies are dedicated to not only better understanding the cellular and molecular changes underlying CNS injury and aging, but also investigating new therapeutic approaches to treating these disorders.
Over the past several years, my research group has increasingly focused on trophic factors mediating functional regeneration in the host brain. We are especially interested in trophic factors regulating growth, maintenance, neuritogenesis and regeneration of CNS dopamine neurons. Most of my studies utilize non-human primate models of normal aging and Parkinson's disease. My group is increasingly utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including functional MRI, to study aging and degenerative processes in the rhesus monkey and human brain.
Zhang, ZM, AH Andersen, MJ Avison, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Functional MRI of apomorphine activation of the basal ganglia in awake rhesus monkeys. Brain Res. 852: 290-296, 2000.
Zhang, Z, C Smith, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Motor slowing and parkinsonian signs in aging rhesus monkeys mirror human aging. . J. Gerontology: Biol. Sci. 55A:B473-B480, 2000.
Grondin, R, Z Zhang, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Dopaminergic therapy improves upper limb motor performance in aged rhesus monkeys. Ann Neurol 48: 250-253, 2000.
Fox, C, DM Gash, K Smoot and WA Cass. Neuroprotective effects of GDNF against 6-OHDA in young and aged rats. Brain Res. 896: 56-63, 2001.
Zhang, Z, AH Andersen, R Grondin, T Barber1, R Avison, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Pharmacological MRI Mapping of Age-associated Changes in Basal Ganglia Circuitry of Awake Rhesus Monkeys. NeuroImage 14: 1159-1167, 2001.
Gerhardt GA, WA Cass, A Yi, Z Zhang and DM Gash. Changes in somatodendritic but not terminal dopamine regulation in aged rhesus monkeys. J Neurochem 80:168-177, 2002 .
Andersen AH, Z Zhang, T Barber, WS Rayens, JL Zhang, R Grondin, P Hardy, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Functional MRI studies in awake rhesus monkeys: methodological and analytical strategies. J Neurosci Meth 118:141-152, 2002.
Maswood N, R Grondin, Z Zhang, JA Stanford, SP Surgener, DM Gash and GA Gerhardt. Effects of chronic intraputamenal infusion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in aged rhesus monkeys. Neurobiol. Aging 23:881-889, 2002 .
Grondin, R, Z Zhang, A Yi, N Maswood, WA Cass, W Markesbery, AH Andersen, DD Elsberry, MC.Klein, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Chronic controlled GDNF infusion promotes structural and behavioral recovery in advanced parkinsonian monkeys. Brain 125:2191-2201, 2002.
Andersen, A, Z Zhang, MJ Avison and DM Gash. Automated segmentation of multispectral brain MR images. J Neurosci Meth 122:13-23, 2002.
Grondin R, WA Cass, Z Zhang, JA Stanford, DM Gash and GA Gerhardt. GDNF Infusion Increases Motor Speed and Stimulus-Evoked Dopamine Release in Aged Rhesus Monkeys. J Neurosci 23:1974-1980, 2003.
Ai Y, W Markesbery, Z Zhang, R Grondin, D Elseberry, GA Gerhardt and DM Gash. Intraputamenal infusion in aging rhesus monkeys: distribution and dopaminergic effects. J Comp Neurol 461:250-261, 2003.
Chen H-L, PM Lein, J-Y Wang, DM Gash, BJ Hoffer and J-H Chiang. Expression of bone morphogenetic proteins in the brain during normal aging and in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned animals. Brain Res 994: 81-90, 2003.
Salvatore MF, JL Zhang, DM Large, PE Wilson, CR Gash, TC Thomas, JW Haycock, G Bing, JA Stanford, DM Gash, and GA Gerhardt. Striatal GDNF administration increases tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation in the rat striatum and substantia nigra. J Neurochem. 90:245-54., 2004.
Maswood N, J Young, E Tilmont, Z Zhang, DM Gash, GA Gerhardt, R Grondin, GS Roth, MA Lane, R Carson, RM Cohen, PM Mouton, C Quiqley, MP Mattson, and DK Ingram. Calorie restriction increases neurotrophic factor levels and attenuates neurochemical and behavioral deficits in a primate model of Parkinson’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci 101:18171-18176, 2004.
Smith CD, A Walton, AD Loveland, GH Umberger, RJ Kryscio and DM Gash. Memories that last in old age: motor skill learning and memory preservation. Neurobiol Aging Jun;26(6):883-90, 2005.
Slevin JT, GA Gerhardt, CD Smith, DM Gash, RJ Kryscio, and AB Young. Unilateral intraputamenal GDNF improves bilateral motor functions in patients with Parkinson’s disease. J Neurosurg Feb;102(2):216-22, 2005.