Overview of interests
Past work in Dr. Staines’ lab has involved the study of normal function-pathophysiology of brain regions associated with movement disorders. More recently he has turned his attention to the study of Rett Syndrome. The biological basis of Rett Syndrome is related to the inability of neurons in a network to properly modify their communication in response to environmental input. In most cases of Rett Syndrome, disruption of a single gene (mecp2) is responsible for these complex downstream consequences. One of the downstream consequences of greatest current interest is in the suppression of levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor. Tissue culture experiments on both brain and gut neurons will evaluate means of reversing this blunted neurotrophic factor response and to normalize neuronal network function.
Dr. Staines has over 100 research publications, including 16 with more than 100 citations.
Dr. Staines’ research is presently funded by the CHEO Foundation (Jessica Carr Fund for Rett Syndrome research).