Fernando Gonzalez, MD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||1550 Fourth St|
San Francisco CA 94158
|Brown University, Providence, RI||Sc.B.||1997||Neuroscience|
|Brown University, Providence, RI||M.D.||2001||School of Medicine|
|Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA||2004||Pediatrics|
|UCSF, San Francisco, CA||2007||Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine|
My research is focused on determining how the full-term brain responds to acute injury during the neonatal period, and strategies to enhance neuroplasticity and long-term functional outcomes. My specific research goals are to: (1) clearly define the neuronal subpopulations that are vulnerable to ischemia and critical for neurodevelopment, (2) determine the mechanisms of injury and endogenous repair in the immature brain, and (3) define therapeutic strategies to enhance long-term function. Specifically, I am interested in how the immature brain differs from the adult brain in its response to stroke, and how reparative mechanisms can be enhanced with delayed therapy. Throughout my training, I have had broad exposure to various aspects of central nervous system (CNS) development and repair, including: evaluation and inhibition of pain through direct CNS treatment; the effects of local injury on wound healing and phagocytosis; direct evaluation of behavioral, cognitive, and nociceptive function after injury; pathophysiologic mechanisms of early brain injury; and the effects of exogenous therapy on early brain injury. Of these experiences, the ones I found most compelling were those that linked rigorous basic science at the bench to investigation of human disease. For example, my research on the short-term effects of exogenous erythropoietin treatment on neurogenesis after early rodent stroke prompted a study to determine beneficial treatment strategies that improve long-term functional outcomes. This project showed that prolonged erythropoietin treatment is most effective for long-term behavioral improvement, a finding that informed clinical studies in humans to treat neonatal brain injury. My current research is focused on cell type-specific changes in the peri-infarct cortex, including alterations in cell fate, function, and circuit formation. This will have a significant impact in improving knowledge and identifying novel therapies to treat early injury. It is my clear desire to apply this type of translational approach to the field of neonatal brain injury, thereby unifying my interest in neuroscience and brain development with a goal of improving the care of the newborn.
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