Seeking TBI therapies

By Delia Croessmann,

Complications from TBI can be life altering. They include post-traumatic seizures and hydrocephalus, as well as serious cognitive and psychological impairments, and the search for treatments to mitigate these neurodegenerative processes is on.

Paul Nam, S&T associate professor of chemistry, leads a $412,000 multi-disciplinary project, also funded through the Leonard Wood Institute, to investigate the use of antioxidants to treat TBIs. 

Nam believes antioxidants could prevent or reduce the oxidative stress that occurs in the brain following exposure to a blast. And that oxidative stress is the culprit of the degenerative symptoms.

From left, S&T faculty researchers Catherine Johnson, Paul Nam and Honglan Shi and chemistry post-doctoral fellow Anna Pfaff discuss their TBI research in a campus lab.

“Currently there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat TBI, but the research of antioxidants for brain health and recovery is an ongoing area of study,” says Nam. “We have a collaborative team of experts at S&T who can apply their knowledge to every stage of this study to test the antioxidants we’ve targeted and determine their efficacy.”

Co-principal investigators are Nuran Ercal, professor of chemistry and the Richard K. Vitek/Foundation for Chemical Research Endowed Chair in Biochemistry, who has extensive research experience studying the effects of antioxidants in living systems; Honglan Shi, PhD Chem’10, research professor of chemistry, who specializes in bioanalysis, environmental analysis and sophisticated instrumentation applications; and Catherine Johnson, assistant professor of mining and explosives engineering, who is already characterizing blast models in her work with the Acute Effects of Neurotrama Consortium (AENC), Phelps Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Nam expects the study to take a year to complete.

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]