Projects

Neuroepigenetics of learning and memory

I am currently focused on a number of projects examining how experience alters the brain, and how those changes drive future behaviors in the Day Laboratory. We approach this broad topic at diverse levels of analysis that integrate molecular, genetic, and epigenetic tools with techniques that probe the function of single neurons and entire neuronal circuits. In particular, I am using whole genome sequencing and CRISPR/dCas9 systems to quantify and manipulate gene expression programs that regulate adaptive behaviors such as fear learning.

Magic City Medcast

Magic City Medcast is a podcast I manage and produce that explores the incredible and often hidden stories of medicine, medical school, and Birmingham. In addition to highlighting various stories and issues in medicine, the podcast serves to help educate the broader community on various topics in healthcare. We are in the top 20% most downloaded of all medical podcasts in iTunes, and we are still in our infancy.

StudentWiki.org

StudentWiki.org is a community end-user editable website for UAB’s medical students meant to serve as a resource and repository for everything from study notes to clerkship tips to general advice on stethoscopes. With over 150 unique users accessing and editing it every week, it continues to grow into an incredible resource for current and future medical students. I launched the site in March of 2015 and it has already been used by over 1000 UAB medical students.

Image analysis software

An ongoing interest of mine is image analysis, and I have developed several different toolkits and plugins to assist in microscopic video processing and image analysis. The utility of these range from allowing complex three dimensional analysis and statistics on stacks of images, to the detection of minute signal differences across time in video. These tools were developed for and have been utilized by multiple research laboratories for projects involving the detection of neural signals via infrared video tracings and the analysis of chondrocytic primary cilia orientation in the growth plate.