Three questions for Jacob Raber

Jacob Raber, Ph.D., is professor of behavioral neuroscience, neurology and radiation medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and is a member of the graduate faculty.

January 21, 2015

Dr. Jacob RaberWhat’s been the most interesting development in your area in the last two years?

To use unbiased ‘omics and imaging approaches in the contexts of effects of genetic and environmental factors on the brain.

What projects are you currently working on and are there opportunities for fellow faculty to participate?

The projects we are working on aim to characterize the detrimental effects of genetic and environmental factors on the function of the brain and to develop treatments to antagonize these effects. For the genetic factor, we particularly study the isoform-dependent effects of apoE. The three major human apoE isoforms (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) differ in their risk to develop cognitive impairments with age and following environmental challenges. As environmental factors, we focus on cognitive impairments due to exposure of the brain to radiation, high-fat diets, environmental stress, methamphetamine or alcohol. We are particularly interested how genetic and environmental factors might predispose the brain to cognitive impairments later in life.

A hypothetical: If you could have one tool that would solve a seemingly impenetrable problem in your work, what would it do? You have unlimited resources to design this tool, so think big.

I’d design a tool that would allow for the monitoring of regional brain activity, metabolic activity and cerebrovascular blood flow in awake, behaving animals in an unobtrusive fashion.

About Three Questions
This Q&A series features OHSU School of Medicine faculty members talking about their work with the goal of getting to know them and different areas across the school. View more