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Adam R. Ferguson, PhD, ’98

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As if helping people recover from neurological trauma wasn’t enough, Dr. Adam Ferguson, SU psychology grad of 1998, is helping future investigators by hiring students for summer research positions in his lab at UCSF’s top-tier medical school.  

Dr. Ferguson is an assistant professor of Neurological Surgery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a principal investigator in the Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC) at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH).  He graduated in 1998 from Southwestern University with his degree in Psychology before earning Master’s and doctoral degrees in behavioral neuroscience at Texas A&M University.

His research focuses on the mechanisms of recovery after neurological trauma. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord invoke a number of complex biological processes that work in concert to determine the extent of tissue repair and functional recovery. To further complicate matters, some biological processes have contradictory effects when present at different stages of neurological recovery. For example, mechanisms of synaptic regulation can contribute to cell death in the early phases of recovery but may promote plasticity and restoration of function at later stages. Understanding the mechanisms of repair in the complex microenvironment of the injured central nervous system (CNS) requires a large-scale integration of complex biological information and functional outcomes.

Dr. Ferguson’s work uses a combination of molecular and cell biology, behavioral neuroscience, and statistical modeling to provide an information-rich picture of the holistic syndrome produced by CNS trauma in translational models.  The long-term goal of this research is to provide system-level therapeutic targets for enhancing recovery of function after brain and spinal injury.  

Learn more about Dr. Ferguson here.