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Ph.D. University of Illinois
Phone: (818) 677-5685
Fax: (818) 677-2034
Office: Chaparral Hall 5416
My laboratory investigates the physiological and biochemical effects that neurotransmitters have on the behavior of animals. There are two major lines of research:
• The first line of inquiry is studying the deleterious effects of glutamate excitotoxicity in the central nervous system. Many human disorders are presumably caused by this phenomenon, including ischemia, Huntington's disease, and epilepsy. Using a rate model, showing an abnormal change in glutamate receptors in two brain regions (cerebellum and hippocampus), my laboratory focuses on the cause and effects of dysfunctional receptor systems. Specifically, what glutamate receptors types are involved in this widespread biomedical dysfunction? What roles do various intracellular molecules have in reducing or exacerbating this pheno-menon? The results of these studies will be useful in planning new neuro-protective strategies for victims of glutamate excitotoxicity.
• Second, the role of various neuro-transmitters in the regulation of feeding behavior in insects. Specifically, what are the roles of neurotransmitters in insect feeding? Do they enhance or diminish food intake? Are specific nutrients influenced by concentrations of a par-ticular neurotransmitter? The results of these experiments should help decipher the complicated links between neuro-physiology and behavior, perhaps, revealing a less complex view of the ways that humans feed.
Recent and seminal publications:
2011. Allen JM, van Kummer, BH, Cohen RW. Dopamine as an anorectic neuromodulator in the cockroach Rhyparobia maderae. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 3843-3849.
2011. Uhlendorf TL, Van Kummer BH, Yaspelkis BB, Cohen RW. Neuroprotective effects of moderate aerobic exercise on the spastic Han–Wistar rat, a model of ataxia. Brain Research 1369: 216-222.
2002. Cepeda, C., C.A. Crawford, J.E. Margulies, J.B. Watson, M.S. Levine and R.W. Cohen. Enhanced epileptogenic susceptibility in a genetic model of reactive synaptogenesis: The spastic Han-Wistar rat. Developmental Neuroscience 24:262-271.
2002. Cohen, R.W., H.D. Can* and D.A. Mahoney*. Possible regulation of feeding behavior in cockroaches by the neurotransmitter octopamine. Journal of Insect Behavior 15:37-50.
2001. Cohen, R.W. Diet balancing in the cockroach Rhyparobia madera: Does serotonin play a role? Journal of Insect Behavior 14:99-111.
1997. Cellular degeneration in the Han-Wistar rat hippocampus resembles kainate damage. Developmental Brain Dys-function 10:1-14. with C. Cepada, J.E. Miyashiro and M.S. Levine.
1996. Functional studies of single-site variants in the calmodulin-binding do-main of RC3/neurogranin in Xenopus oocytes. Neuroscience Letter 219:1-4. with J.E. Margulies, P.M. Coulter II and J.B. Watson.
1993. Functional consequences of expression of the neuron-specific, protein kinase C substrate RC3 (neurogranin) in Xenopus oocytes. Brain Research 627:147-152. With J.E. Margulies, P.M. Coul-ter II and J.B. Watson.
1991. Altered excitatory amino acid function and cerebellum morphology in the spastic Han-Wistar rat. Molecular Brain Re-search 11:27-36. with R.S. Fisher, T. Duong, V.W. Handley, A.T. Campagnoni, C.D. Hull, N.a. Buchwald and M.S. Levine.
1988. Physiological control of nutrient self-selection in Heliiothis zea larvae: The role of serotonin. J. of Insect Physiology 34:935-940. with S. Friedman and G.P. Waldbauer.
Randy Cohen and Dean Jerry Stinner 40 days before Randy Steps down as Chair of Biology