The Ross lab, together with the Vazquez lab, is interested in understanding how the neural circuit mechanisms that enable precise control of blood flow. We study neurovascular coupling using a combination of approaches, including 2P microcopy through cranial windows, Laser Dopper Flowmetry, Ca2+ imaging, CUBIC-based clearing and large volume imaging, and electrophysiology.
This research into the neural regulation of blood flow is important for two reasons. First, fMRI-based approaches to investigate brain function are actually measuring blood flow, which is an imperfect correlate of neural activity. For this reason, it critically important to understand the precise relationship between brain activity and blood flow in order to interpret fMRI. Second, there are a large number of disease conditions in which neurovascular coupling is compromised, leading to neurological dysfunction. Our hope is that, by understanding how neurovascular coupling is regulated, we may be able to develop better therapies to prevent neurological conditions that stem, at least in part, from defects in neurovascular coupling.
This is new area of research for our lab and we are looking for interested people to join our team. Contact Sarah Ross or Alberto Vazquez for more details
For more information on our research see “Optogenetic assessment of VIP, PV, SOM and NOS inhibitory neuron activity and cerebral blood flow regulation in mouse somato-sensory cortex.” Krawchuk, M. B., C. F. Ruff, X. Yang, S. E. Ross and A. L. Vazquez (2019) Download Article