North Carolina Central University: Department of Biological & Biomedical Sciences
The Marshall lab is primarily focused on understanding the neuronal mechanisms that contribute to and result from alcohol abuse. The overarching goal of these pre-clinical studies is to determine novel targets for therapy that can help individuals suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Our focus is both on alcohol-induced brain damage and excessive alcohol consumption. We study these aspects of alcohol misuse from a behavioral and neurobiological standpoint. Because alcohol abuse is so pervasive in our society, we study the interplay of alcohol with various stages of life including adolescence, adulthood, and late adulthood.
Major Research Questions
How does the neuroimmune sytem contribute to alcohol-induced brain damage?
Dysregulation of the neuroimmune response is known to exacerbate brain damage. Our lab is interested in how we can leverage the neuroimmune system to reduce neurodegeneration and promote recovery mechanisms.
How does the neuroimmune system influence behaviors associated with alcohol abuse?
Psycho-neuro-immunology is the study of the interractions between the nervous system, immune responses, and behavior. Our lab is interested in determining the role of the neuroimmune response in alcohol-related behaviors including consumption.
1/2 Partnerships to Enhance Alcohol Research across NCCU and UNC (PEAR-NC)
The major goals of this grant are to enhance alcohol research programs at North Carolina Central University in collaboration with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As a part of the program, my projects are 1) to determine how astrocytic GPCR signaling in the hippocampus alters alcohol’s pharmacologic responses in models of non-dependent binge drinking and alcohol related brain damage and 2) to enhance the scientific and professional training of graduate and undergraduates students engaged in alcohol research through the Student Mentoring Core. This grant is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Duke-N.C. Central Alcohol Research & Education (D-CARE)
The major goal of this collaborative project with Drs. Scott Swartzwelder (Duke University , PI) and Wendy Grillo (NCCU, PI) is to establish a research experience program for undergraduate students at Duke University and North Carolina Central University . The program includes a summer experience at the neighboring institution and support to extend studies during the school year at the student’s home institution. These research experiences are accompanied by didactic coursework and professional development opportunities. This grant is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Feeding the STEM Pipeline with Neuroscientist Trained at an HBCU
This programmatic grant serves URM masters students at NCCU in a program called GLIAL (Graduate students Learning through Immersion, Application, and Leadership) Scholars. Our goal is to equip students for careers in neuroscience by providing them professional development, research, and teaching, opportunities in neuroscience. This project is led by a PI team at NCCU including Drs. S. Alex Marshall, Wendy Grillo, and Gregory Cole. This grant is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health
The Functional Implications of Astrocytic GPCR-signaling on Alcohol Abuse
The major goals of this project are to determine the impact of alcohol abuse on astrocytic function in the amygdala as well as how astrocytic targets may be influential in alcohol related behaviors. This grant is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
U01AA019925: NADIA Consortium
"Effects of Adolescent Alcohol Exposure on Hippocampal Function in Adulthood"
The major goals of this collaborative project with Dr. Scott Swartzwelder (Duke University , PI) are to determine the persisting effects of alcohol exposure on hippocampal maladaptations as well as the mechanisms and that contribute to dysregulation. The Marshall lab contribution is to determine the effects on the neuroimmune system and the relationship of epigenetic changes that may exacerbate neuroinflammatory responses. This grant is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alzheimer's Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity (AARG-D)
“The Functional Implications of GPCR-signaling in Aging Astrocytes.”
The major goals of this project are to determine how astrocytic GPCR signaling alters cognition and brain damage during the aging process and is supported by the Alzheimer's Association.
Center for Human Health & the Environment Pilot Program
“The comorbid effects of arsenic and alcohol abuse on hippocampal neurodegeneration”
The major goals of this project were to determine how alcohol influences arsenic absorption and toxicity and is supported by the North Carolina State University CHHE.