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Rehana Leak

Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Mylan School of Pharmacy and Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical, Administrative and Social Sciences

407 Mellon Hall
Phone: 412.396.4734
leakr@duq.edu

Education:

Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 1996–98
M.Sc., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 1993–95
B.A., Biopsychology, Barnard College, 1988–92
Courses

Current Courses

PHBM 355: Human Physiology and Pathology I

PHBM 356: Human Physiology and Pathology II

GPSC 576: Neuronal Pharmacology and General Toxicological Principles (Coursemaster)

GPSC 695: Oral and Written Presentation Skills in Pharmacology (Coursemaster)

GPSC 572: Methods of Evaluation of Drug Action and Toxicity

Research

Research Interests

Students interested in gaining research experience can contact Dr. Leak at leakr@duq.edu. Patients and caregivers are also welcome to visit the laboratory.

The Leak laboratory uses primary neurons, primary astrocytes, and animals for 4 major projects:

Project 1: Our goal is to understand how neurons and glial astrocytes adapt to cellular stress. The phenomenon of adaptation to sublethal stress is known as preconditioning or tolerance. In lay terms stated by Friedrich Nietzsche, "what does not kill you makes you stronger." Adaptations to sublethal stress have been studied for many years in the field of ischemia. However, adaptations to severe stress are less well understood. Recent studies in Dr. Leak's lab have shown that severely stressed astrocytes that manage to survive the original insult are protected against subsequent challenges and continue to protect neighboring neurons in mixed neuron/glia co-cultures. This glial stress resistance is dependent upon glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and astrocytes are known to be the major source of glutathione in the brain. If adaptive responses to severe stress can be generalized to humans, they may help explain why neurodegenerative diseases are so slow to progress.

A brief presentation on astrocyte adaptations by Rehana Leak is available here: http://dose-response.org/2014-outstanding-new-investigator-dr-rehana-leak/.

Project 2: The hallmark of Parkinson's disease is the eosinophilic Lewy body, which is filled with aggregated proteins such as α-synuclein. Lewy pathology is found in many brain regions in Parkinson's disease, including but not limited to those involved in motor control. Histopathologists have recently argued that Lewy pathology enters the brainstem from the gut through the vagus nerve. Some of the pathology may also enter the brain through the nose. Indeed, one of the earliest symptoms of Parkinson's disease is loss of smell. Loss of olfaction is also a harbinger of eventual cognitive dysfunction and predicts mortality in senior citizens–22% to 40% of older adults with anosmia are dead within 5 years, as opposed to 10% of elderly subjects with intact olfaction. Following infusions of the fibrillar, aggregated form of α-synuclein into the mouse olfactory bulb, the Leak lab has found that Lewy-like pathology can be transmitted from olfactory structures through neuroanatomical connections deep into the temporal lobe, to take root in distant limbic structures such as the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. This topographical pattern may explain some of the cognitive deficits experienced by Parkinson's patients at the end stages of their condition. However, some brain regions that harbor dense neuroanatomical connections with the olfactory bulb were resistant to α-synucleinopathy in our model, suggestive of selective vulnerabilities to Lewy-like pathology. Our next goal is to use tract-tracing tools and behavioral assays to understand how Lewy-like pathology spreads through the brain to distant brain regions and causes behavioral deficits such as depression and memory loss, two of the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. This goal is consistent with the new view that Parkinson's disease is a systemic disorder, involving multiple brain regions and even peripheral organs.

Project 3: Protein misfolding stress is a central feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and leads to hallmark protein inclusions filled with tau or α-synuclein. It has been known for many years that the primitive allocortex in the telencephalon contains more tau or α-synuclein pathology in these conditions than the phylogenetically modern neocortex. However, no one knows the reason behind this striking topographical difference. We hypothesized that the allocortex is more vulnerable to protein misfolding stress than the neocortex, using high-throughput assays for cellular viability. In support of this hypothesis, we discovered that primary neurons from the allocortex experience more cell loss than primary neurons from the neocortex in response to multiple proteasome inhibitors. Proteasome inhibitors prevent the clearance of damaged proteins. Furthermore, allocortical neurons exhibit greater signs of protein misfolding stress after proteasomal inhibition. Our next goal is to determine the mechanism underlying such selective vulnerabilities, with an emphasis on differences in heat shock protein expression. Heat shock proteins are important to study in the context of neurodegenerative disorders because they help to refold or degrade damaged proteins.

Project 4: Our goal is to identify the mechanisms of action of the dietary supplement N-acetyl cysteine. N-acetyl cysteine is a glutathione precursor and is effective in multiple neurological conditions. For example, N-acetyl cysteine has been shown to improve some aspects of cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease. N-acetyl cysteine was also found to dramatically reduce the clinical symptoms of blast injury in soldiers. Recent findings in the Leak lab have shown that N-acetyl cysteine can protect neuronal cells against synergistic dual hits of severe proteotoxic and oxidative stress in a glutathione-dependent manner. However, we have also shown that N-acetyl cysteine may protect neuronal cells by preserving the expression of heat shock protein 70. As heat shock proteins help prevent protein misfolding stress, these findings reveal a new potential mechanism of action for N-acetyl cysteine in neurological conditions.

Awards

Honors & Awards

2016 Inducted into the Duquesne University Research Hall of Fame
2016–21 Grant: Inducible DNA repair in cerebral ischemia
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Co-investigator: Rehana Leak (principal investigator: Jun Chen)
2016 Early Career Grant Reviewer (National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review)
Neural Oxidative Metabolism, Mitochondria and Cell Death (NOMD) study section
2015–20 Grant: Molecular therapies to promote white matter restoration after traumatic brain injury.
Source: National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH R01)
Co-investigator: RK Leak (principal investigator Jun Chen)
2015–18 Grant: Impact of N-acetyl cysteine ethyl ester on a-synuclein pathology in the olfactory system
Source: National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH R15)
Principal Investigator: RK Leak (there are consultants but no co-investigators)
2015 School of Pharmacy nominee for the President's Award in Scholarship
2015 Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society induction
2015–17 Grant: A novel mechanism of action for N-acetyl cysteine
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH R03)
Principal Investigator: RK Leak (there are no co-investigators)
2014–16 Grant: Adaptations to cellular stress in astrocytes
Source: Hillman Foundation
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2014 Outstanding New Investigator Award recipient
Source: International Dose-Response Society http://dose-response.org/2014-outstanding-new-investigator-dr-rehana-leak/
2014–Present Member of editorial board for the Elsevier journal Neurochemistry International
2013–14 Grant: Topography of vulnerability to alpha synuclein fibrils in the cerebral cortex
Source: Michael J. Fox Foundation Rapid Response Innovation Awards
Principal Investigator: RK Leak (there are no co-investigators)
2013 Mylan School of Pharmacy Faculty Award for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service
2013–14 Grant: Impact of N-acetyl cysteine on heat shock protein 70
Source: Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (C.U.R.E.), Pennsylvania Dept of Health
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2012 Voted Professor of the Year by the PY1 Duquesne Pharmacy students
Recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as Teacher of the Year
2011–13 Grant: Adaptations to paraquat toxicity in a model of Parkinson's disease in vivo
Source: Faculty Development Funds, Duquesne University
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2010–11 Grant: Adaptation to cellular stress in cortical regions involved in Parkinson's disease
Source: Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Foundation
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2010–12 Grant: Endogenous adaptations to cellular stress; implications for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
Source: Hunkele Dreaded Diseases Foundation
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2009–13 Grant: Exercise, trophic factors, and Parkinsonism (2P50 NS19608-24)
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Principal Investigator: MJ Zigmond
Co-Investigator: RK Leak
2006–07 Grant: Preconditioning neuroprotection in models of Parkinson's disease
Source: American Parkinson's Disease Association (APDA)
Principal Investigator: RK Leak
2004–06 Michael J. Fox Foundation Fellowship
2004–06 Scientific Career-Reentry Fellowship
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
2001–03 Career hiatus; family leave)
2001 Post-doctoral Training Fellowship
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
1994–97 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship
University of Pittsburgh
1992 National Science Foundation Summer Research Fellowship
University of Virginia
1992 Senior Thesis First Prize, Department of Biopsychology, Barnard College
1992 German Language First Prize, Barnard College
1992 Graduated Magna Cum Laude, Barnard College
1992 Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society Induction
Publications

Publications 2006–Present

86 Total Publications (includes 5 chapters and 16 reviews), H-Index – 27, i10 Index – 46, 3129 Total Citations

Google Scholar Citations

PubMed Papers

Graduate and undergraduate students from the Leak laboratory are highlighted in red

Papers published since 2006 as *corresponding author and/or first author:

  1. Mason DM, Nouraei N, Pant DB, Miner KM, Hutchison DF, Luk KC, Stolz JF, and Leak RK* (2016) Transmission of α-synucleinopathy from olfactory structures deep into the temporal lobe. Molecular Neurodegeneration. 11: 49
  2. Heinemann SD, Posimo JM, Mason DM, Hutchison DF, and Leak RK* (2016) Synergistic stress exacerbation in hippocampal neurons: Evidence favoring the dual hit hypothesis of neurodegeneration. Hippocampus. 26: 980-994
  3. Nouraei N, Zarger L, Weilnau JN, Han J, Mason DM, and Leak RK* (2016) Investigation of the therapeutic potential of N-acetyl cysteine and the tools used to define nigrostriatal degeneration in vivo. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 296:19-30
  4. Liu H, Leak RK*, Hu X (2016) Neurotransmitter receptors on microglia. Stroke and Vascular Neurology. 1: e000012. *co-corresponding author with Dr. Hu
  5. Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, Pant DB, Henderson MP, and Leak RK* (2015) Astrocytes surviving severe stress can still protect neighboring neurons from proteotoxic injury. Molecular Neurobiology. 53: 4939-4960
  6. Posimo JM, Weilnau JN, Gleixner AM, Broeren MT, Weiland N, Brodsky JL, Wipf P, and Leak RK* (2015) Heat shock protein defenses in the neo- and allocortex of the telencephalon. Neurobiology of Aging. 36: 1924-1937
  7. Leak RK*, O'Donnell LA*, and Surratt CK (2015) Using active learning to teach pharmacology graduate students how to write an NIH grant application. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 79: 138
  8. Crum TS, Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, Mason DM, Broeren MT, Heinemann SD, Wipf P, Brodsky JL, and Leak RK* (2015) Heat shock protein responses to aging and proteotoxicity in the olfactory bulb. Journal of Neurochemistry. 133: 180-794. Publication chosen for cover image. See bottom of this page.
  9. Leak RK, Li P, Zhang F, Sulaiman H, Weng, Zhongfang, Wang G, Stetler RA, Shi Y, Cao G, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) APE1 upregulation reduces oxidative DNA damage and protects hippocampal neurons from ischemic injury. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 22: 135 - 148
  10. Gleixner AM, Pulugulla SH, Pant DB, Posimo JM, Crum TS, and Leak RK* (2014) Impact of aging on heat shock protein expression in the substantia nigra and striatum of the female rat. Cell Tissue Research. 357: 43-54
  11. Unnithan AS, Jiang Y, Rumble JL, Pulugulla SH, Posimo JM, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2014) N-acetyl cysteine prevents synergistic, severe toxicity from two hits of oxidative stress. Neuroscience Letters. 560: 71-76
  12. Posimo JM, Unnithan AS, Gleixner AM, Choi HJH, Jiang Y, Pulugulla SH, and Leak RK* (2014) Viability assays for cells in culture. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 83: e50645, doi:10.3791/50645 (Invited research article)
  13. Leak RK* (2014) Adaptation and sensitization to proteotoxic stress. Dose-Response. 12: 24-56 (Invited review article)
  14. Leak RK* (2014) Heat shock proteins in neurodegenerative disorders and aging. Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling. 4: 293-310 (Invited review article)
  15. Jiang Y, Rumble JL, Gleixner AM, Unnithan AS, Pulugulla SH, Posimo JM, Choi HJH, Crum TS, Pant DB, and Leak RK* (2013) N-acetyl cysteine blunts proteotoxicity in a heat shock protein-dependent manner. Neuroscience. 255: 19-32
  16. Posimo JM, Titler AM, Choi H, Unnithan AS, and Leak RK* (2013) Neocortex and allocortex respond differentially to cellular stress in vitro and aging in vivo. PLoS One 8: e58596
  17. Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2013) Astrocyte plasticity revealed by adaptations to severe proteotoxic stress. Cell Tissue Research 352: 427-443
  18. Leak RK, Zhang L, Luo Y, Li P, Zhao H, Liu X, Ling F, Jia J, Chen J, and Ji X (2013) Peroxiredoxin 2 battles PARP1- and p53-dependent pro-death pathways following ischemic injury. Stroke 44: 1124-1134
  19. Leak RK, Zhang L, Stetler RA, Weng Z, Li P, Atkins GB, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) HSP27 protects the blood-brain barrier against ischemia-induced loss of integrity. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets 12: 325-337
  20. Leak RK*, Garbett K, Dettmer AM, Mirnics K, Zhang Z, and Cameron JL (2012) Physical activity is linked to ceruloplasmin in the striatum of intact, but not MPTP-treated primates. Cell Tissue Research 350: 401-407
  21. Unnithan AS, Choi H, Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2012) Rescue from a two hit high-throughput model of neurodegeneration with N-acetyl cysteine. Neurochemistry International 61: 356-368
  22. Leak RK* and Moore RY (2012) Innervation of ventricular and periventricular compartments. Brain Research 1463: 51-62
  23. Leak RK*, Castro SL, Jaumotte JD, Smith AD, and Zigmond MJ (2010) Assaying multiple biochemical variables from the same tissue sample. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 191: 234-238
  24. Leak RK and Zigmond MJ (2008) Endogenous defenses that protect dopamine neurons: studies with 6-OHDA models of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's Disease: Pathogenic and Therapeutic Insights from Toxin and Genetic Models. (Ed. R Nass and S Przedborski). Elsevier. Ch 13: 173 - 194
  25. Leak RK*, Zigmond MJ, and Liou AKF (2008) Adaptation to chronic MG132 reduces oxidative toxicity by a CuZnSOD-dependent mechanism. Journal of Neurochemistry 106: 860-874
  26. Leak RK, Liou KF, and Zigmond MJ (2006) Effects of sublethal 6-hydroxydopamine on the response to subsequent oxidative stress in dopaminergic cells: evidence for preconditioning. Journal of Neurochemistry 99: 1151-1163

Middle-author papers on collaborative efforts:

  1. Yang T, Sun Y, Lu Z, Leak RK, and Zhang F (2016) The impact of cerebrovascular aging on vascular cognitive impairment and dementia. Ageing Research Reviews. Accepted and in press
  2. Talbot JN, Geffert LM, Jorvig JE, Goldstein RI, Nielsen CL, Wolters NE, Amos ME, Munro CA, Dallman E, Meren M, Tanda G, Katz J, Indarte M, Madura JD, Choi H, Leak RK, and Surratt CK (2016) Rapid and sustained antidepressant properties of an NMDA antagonist/monoamine reuptake inhibitor identified via transporter-based virtual screening. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. 150-151: 22-30
  3. Parra LA, Baust TB, Smith AD, Jaumotte JD, Zigmond MJ, Torres S, Leak RK, Pino JA, and Torres GE (2016) The molecular chaperone Hsc70 interacts with tyrosine hydroxylase to regulate enzyme activity and synaptic vesicle localization. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291: 17510-17522
  4. Wu Y, Wang J, Shi Y, Pu H, Leak RK, Liou AK, Badlyak SF, Liu Z, Zhang J, Chen J, and Chen L (2016) Implantation of brain-derived extracellular matrix enhances neurological recovery after traumatic brain injury. Cell Transplantation. Epub ahead of print
  5. Stetler RA, Gao Y, Leak RK, Weng Z, Shi Y, Zhang L, Pu H, Zhang F, Hu X, Hassan S, Ferguson C, Homanics GE, Cao G, Bennett MVL, and Chen J (2016) APE1/Ref1 facilitates recovery of gray and white matter and neurological function after mild stroke injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113: E3558-E3567
  6. Zhang W, Zhang H, Mu H, Zhu W, Jiang X, Hu X, Shi Y, Leak RK, Dong Q, Chen J, and Gao Y (2016) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids mitigate blood-brain barrier disruption after hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Neurobiology of Disease. 91: 37-46
  7. Shi Y, Zhang L, Pu H, Mao L, Hu X, Jiang X, Xu N, Stetler RA, Zhang F, Liu X, Leak RK, Keep RF, Ji X, and Chen J (2016) Rapid endothelial cytoskeletal reorganization enables early blood-brain barrier disruption and long-term ischemic/reperfusion brain injury. Nature Communications. 7: 10523
  8. Liu X, Liu J, Zhao S, Zhang H, Cai W, Ji X, Leak RK, Gao Y, Chen J, and Hu X (2015) Interleukin-4 is essential for microglia/macrophage M2 polarization and long-term recovery after cerebral ischemia. Stroke. 47: 498-504
  9. Zhang W, Liu J, Hu X, Li P, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) n-3 PUFAs reduce neonatal hypoxic/ischemic brain injury by promoting phosphatidylserine formation and Akt signaling. Stroke. 46: 2943-2950
  10. Liu Z, Chen C, Li X, Ran Y, Xu T, Zhang Y, Geng X, Zhang Y, Du H, Leak RK, Chen J, Ji X, and Hu X (2015) Remote ischemic preconditioning-mediated neuroprotection against stroke is associated with significant alterations in peripheral immune responses. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. 22: 43-52
  11. Han L, Cai W, Mao L, Liu J, Li P, Leak RK, Xu Y, Hu X, and Chen J (2015) Rosiglitazone promotes white matter integrity and long-term functional recovery after focal cerebral ischemia. Stroke. 46: 2628-2636
  12. Chen X, Zhao S, Song Y, Shi Y, Leak RK, and G Cao (2015) The role of nicotinamidephosphoribosyltransferase in cerebral ischemia. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry. 15: 2211-2221
  13. Suenaga J, Hu X, Pu H, Shi Y, Hassan SH, Xu M, Leak RK, Stetler RA, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) White matter injury and microglia/macrophage polarization are strongly linked with age-related long-term deficits in neurological function after stroke. Experimental Neurology. 272: 109-119
  14. Zhang W. Wang H, Zhang H, Leak RK, Shi Y, Hu X, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) Dietary supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids robustly promotes neurovascular restorative dynamics and improves neurological functions after stroke. Experimental Neurology. 272: 170-180
  15. Wang J, Xia J, Zhang F, Shi Y, Wu Y, Pu H, Liou A, Leak RK, Yu X, Chen L, and Chen J (2015) Galectin 1-secreting neural stem cells elicit long-term neuroprotection against ischemic brain injury. Scientific Reports. 5: 9621
  16. H Shi, Hu X, Leak RK, Shi Y, An C, Suenaga J, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) Demyelination as a rational therapeutic target for ischemic or traumatic brain injury. Experimental Neurology. 272: 17-25
  17. Wang G, Shi Y, Jiang X, Leak RK, Hu X, Wu Y, Pu H, Li W, Tang B, Wang Y, Gao Y, Zheng P, Bennett MVL, and Chen J (2015) HDAC inhibition prevents white matter injury by modulating microglia/macrophage polarization through the GSK3β/PTEN/Akt axis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112: 1853-2858
  18. Shi H, Wang H, Pu H, Shi Y, Zhang J, Zhang W, Wang G, Hu X, Leak RK, Chen J, and Gao Y (2014) Ethyl pyruvate protects against blood-brain barrier damage and improves long-term neurological outcomes in a rat model of traumatic brain injury. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. 21: 374-384
  19. Chen S, Zhang H, Pu H, Wang G, Li W, Leak RK, Chen J, Liou AK, Hu X (2014) n-3 PUFA supplementation benefits microglial responses to myelin pathology. Scientific Reports 4: 7458
  20. Liu ZJ, Chen C, Li FW, Shen JM, Yang Y, Leak RK, Ji X, Du H, and Hu X (2014) Splenic responses in ischemic stroke: New insights into stroke pathology. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. 21: 320-326
  21. Hu X, Leak RK, Shi Y, Suenaga J, Gao Y, Zheng P, and Chen J (2014) Microglia and macrophage polarization - new opportunities for brain repair. Nature Reviews Neurology. 11: 56-64 (from the publishers of Nature, impact factor 14.1)
  22. Zhao S, Li F, Leak RK, Chen J, and Hu X (2014) Regulation of neuroinflammation through programmed death-1/programmed death ligand signaling in neurological disorders. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 8: 271
  23. Jing Z, Xing J, Chen X, Stetler RA, Weng Z, Gan Y, Zhang F, Gao Y, Chen J, Leak RK, Cao G (2014) Neuronal NAMPT is released following cerebral ischemia and protects against white matter injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. 34: 1613-1621
  24. Hu X, Liou AKF, Leak RK, Xu M, An C, Suenaga J, Shi Y, Gao Y, Zheng P, and Chen J (2014) Neurobiology of microglial action in CNS injuries: receptor-mediated signaling mechanisms and functional roles. Progress in Neurobiology. 119-120C60-84
  25. Wang J, Shi Y, Zhang L, Zhang F, Hu X, Zhang W, Leak RK, Gao Y, Chen L, and Chen J (2014) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids enhance cerebral angiogenesis and provide long-term protection after stroke. Neurobiology of Disease 68: 91-103
  26. Stetler RA, Leak RK, Gan Y, Peiying L, Hu X, Jing Z, Chen J, Zigmond MJ, and Gao Y (2014) Preconditioning provides neuroprotection in models of CNS diseases: Paradigms and clinical significance. Progress in Neurobiology. 114: 58-83
  27. Zhang M, Wang S, Mao L, Leak RK, Shi Y, Zhang W, Hu X, Sun B, Cao G, Gao Y, Xu Y, Chen J, and Zhang F (2014) Omega-3 fatty acids protect the brain against ischemic injury by activating Nrf2 and upregulating heme oxygenase-1. Journal of Neuroscience. 34: 1903-1015
  28. Li P, Gan Y, Mao L, Leak RK, Chen J, and Hu X (2014) The critical roles of immune cells in acute brain injuries. Immunological Mechanisms and Therapies in Brain Injuries and Stroke (Ed. Chen J, Hu X, Stenzel-Poore M, Zhang JH). Springer Series in Translational Stroke Research 6: 9-25
  29. Stetler RA, Leak RK, Jing Z, Hu X, Gao Y, Cao G, and Chen J (2014) The interplay between white matter, mitochondria, and neuroprotection. White Matter Injury in Stroke and CNS Disease (Ed. Baltan S, Carmichael ST, Matute C, Xi G, and Zhang JH). Springer Series in Translational Stroke Research. 4: 539-554
  30. An C, Shi Y, Li P, Hu X, Gan Y, Stetler RA, Leak RK, Gao Y, Sun B, Zheng P, and Chen J (2013) Molecular dialogs between the ischemic brain and the peripheral immune system: Dualistic roles in injury and repair. Progress in Neurobiology. 115: 1-5
  31. Li P, Mao L, Zhou G, Leak RK, Sub BL, Chen J, and Hu X (2013) Adoptive regulatory T-cell therapy preserves systemic immune homeostasis after cerebral ischemia. Stroke. 44: 3509-3515
  32. Hu X, Zhang F, Leak RK, Zhang W, Iwai M, Stetler RA, Dai Y, Zhao A, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Transgenic overproduction of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provides neuroprotection and enhances endogenous neurogenesis after stroke. Current Molecular Medicine 13:1465-73
  33. Wang G, Guo Y, Hu X, Zhang L, Mao L, Jiang X, Liou AKF, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Microglia/macrophage polarization dynamics in white matter injury following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 33: 1865-1874 doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2013.146
  34. Pu H, Guo Y, Zhang W, Huang L, Wang G, Liou AKF, Zhang J, Zhang P, Leak RK, Wang Y, Chen J, Gao Y (2013) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation improves neurological recovery and attenuates white matter injury following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 33: 1474-1484 doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2013.108
  35. Stetler RA, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) The dynamics of the mitochondrial organelle as a potential therapeutic target. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 33: 22-32 (Invited review article)
  36. Zhang M, An C, Gao Y, Leak RK, Chen J, and Zhang F (2013) Emerging roles of Nrf2 and phase II enzymes in neuroprotection. Progress in Neurobiology 100: 30-47
  37. Zhao H, Luo Y, Liu X, Wang R, Yan F, Liu X, Li S, Leak RK, and Ji X (2013) Ischemic post-conditioning partially reverses cell cycle reactivity following ischemia/reperfusion injury; a genome wide survey. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets 12: 350-359
  38. Wang JY, Liou AK, Ren ZH, Zhang L, Brown BN, Cui XT, Badylak SF, Cai YN, Guan YQ, Leak RK, Chen J, Ji X, and Chen L (2013) Neurorestorative effect of urinary bladder matrix mediated neural stem cell transplantation following traumatic brain injury in rats. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets 12: 371-380
  39. Zhang M, Wang H, Zhao J, Chen C, Leak RK, Xu Y, Vosler P, Chen J, Gao Y, and Zhang F (2013) Drug-induced hypothermia in stroke models; does it always protect? CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets 12: 371-380
  40. Wang G, Jiang X, Pu H, Zhang W, An C, Hu X, Kiou AKF, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Scriptaid, a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor, protects against traumatic brain injury via modulation of PTEN and Akt pathway. Neurotherapeutics 10: 124-142
  41. Zhang M, Li W, Leak RK, Chen J, and Zhang F (2013) ATP induces mild hypothermia in rats but has a strikingly detrimental impact on focal cerebral ischemia. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 33(1). doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2012.146.
  42. Stetler RA, Leak RK, Gao YQ, and Chen J (2012) Mitochondrial biogenesis contributes to ischemic neuroprotection afforded by LPS preconditioning. Journal of Neurochemistry 123(S2): 125-137 (Invited research article)
  43. Hu X, Li P, Guo Y, Wang H, Leak RK, Chen S, Gao Y, and Chen J (2012) Microglia/macrophage polarization dynamics reveal novel mechanism of injury expansion after focal cerebral ischemia. Stroke 43: 3063-3070
  44. Zhang F, Wang S, Weng Z, Li P, Gan Y, Zhang L, Zhang M, Cao G, Gao Y, Leak RK, Sporn MB, and Chen J (2012). Pharmacological induction of heme oxygenase-1 by a triterpenoid protects against ischemic neuronal injury. Stroke 43: 1390-1397
  45. Mitchell AC, Leak RK, Garbett K, Zigmond MJ, Cameron JL, and Mirnics K (2012) Physical activity-associated gene expression signature in non-human primate motor cortex. Obesity 20: 692-698
  46. Li P, Leak RK, Gan Y, Hu X, Stetler RA, and Chen J (2012) How do subcellular organelles participate in preconditioning-conferred neuroprotection? Innate Tolerance in the CNS. Springer Series in Translational Stroke Research. (Ed. J Gidday). Springer. 19: 387-428 (Invited review article)
  47. Hu X, Zhang M, Leak RK, Gan Y, Li P, Gao Y, and Chen J (2012) Delivery of neurotherapeutics across the blood brain barrier in stroke. Current Pharmaceutical Design 18: 3704-3720
  48. Mitchell AC, Leak RK, Zigmond MJ, Cameron JL, and Mirnics K (2011) Gene transcripts associated with BMI in the motor cortex and caudate nucleus of calorie-restricted monkeys. Genomics 99: 144-151
  49. Egaña L, Cuevas R, Baust T, Parra L, Leak RK, Hochendoner S, Peña K, Quiroz M, Hong W, Dorostkar M, Janz R, Sitte H, and Torres G (2009) Physical and functional interaction between the dopamine transporter and the synaptic vesicle protein Synaptogyrin-3. Journal of Neuroscience 29:4592-604
  50. Requena DF, Parra LA, Baust TB, Quiroz M, Leak RK, Garcia-Olivares J, Torres GE. (2009) The molecular chaperone Hsc70 interacts with the vesicular monoamine transporter-2. Journal of Neurochemistry 110: 581-594
  51. Zigmond MJ, Cameron JL, Leak RK, Mirnics K, Russell VA, Smeyne RJ and Smith AD (2009) Triggering endogenous neuroprotective processes through exercise in models of dopamine deficiency. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders: WFN World Congress on Parkinson's Disease Supplement 3:S42-45
  52. Liou AKF, Leak RK, Li L, and Zigmond MJ (2008) Wild-type LRRK2 but not its mutant attenuates stress-induced death via ERK pathway. Neurobiology of Disease 32: 116-124
  53. Lindgren NL, Leak RK, Smith AD, and Zigmond MJ (2008) Role of ERK in the action of GDNF in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neuroscience Research 86: 2039-2049
  54. Lin E, Cavanaugh JE, Leak RK, Perez RG, and Zigmond MJ (2008) Rapid activation of ERK by 6-hydroxydopamine promotes survival of dopaminergic cells. Journal of Neuroscience Research 86: 108-117

Presentations 2006–Present

Out of 91 Total Presentations

  1. Mason DM, Nouraei N, Han J, Pant DB, Miner KM, Luk KC, Stolz JF, and Leak RK* (2016) Transmission of a-synucleinopathy from olfactory structures deep into the temporal lobe. Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Symposium. Abstract 39. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. **Won 2nd prize for best poster
  2. Weilnau JN, Carcella MA, Miner KM, Nouraei N, Hutchison DF, Pant DB, and Leak RK* (2016) Evidence for cross-hemispheric preconditioning in Parkinson's disease. Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. Abstract 45. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Han J, Nouraei N, Zarger L, Weilnau J, Mason D, Leak RK* (2016) N-acetyl cysteine provides transient neuroprotection against oxidative stress in vivo. 19th Annual Summer Research Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  4. Do T, Pant D, and Leak RK* (2016) Endogenous defenses against severe oxidative stress in astrocytes. 19th Annual Summer Research Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  5. Carcella M, Weilnau J, Nouraei N, and Leak RK* (2016) Evidence for cross-hemispheric preconditioning in experimental Parkinson's disease. 19th Annual Summer Research Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  6. Shi Y, Pu H, Hu X, Stetler RA, Leak RK, Zheng P, Gao Y, and Chen J (2016) Aberrant activation of ASK1 mediates proinflammatory and neurotoxic microglial responses after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion. International Stroke Conference. Los Angeles, CA. Won the Stroke Basic Science Award
  7. Mason DM, Nouraei N, Han J, Pant DB, Miner KM, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2015) Long-distance transmission of Parkinson's pathology from olfactory structures deep into the central nervous system. Graduate Research Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  8. Healy C, Krainz T, Pant DB, Leak RK, and Wipf P (2015) Synthesis and evaluation of nitroxide prodrugs in astrocyte protection. Science 2015. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Pant DB, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2015) Severely stressed astrocytes tolerate paraquat despite inhibition of multiple endogenous defenses. Science 2015. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Rhodes, D, Cavanaugh J, Janjic J, Leak RK, Boni R, Buckner I, Covvey J, Giannetti V, Harrold MW, Kossol J, and Stewart A (2015) A cross-curricular lab experience for first professional year students: A patient case-based approach. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) annual meeting. National Harbor, MD
  11. Wang G, Shi Y, Jiang X, Leak RK, Hu X, Wu Y, Pu H, Wang Y, Gao Y, Zheng P, Bennett M, and Chen J (2015) Histone deacetylase inhibition prevents white matter injury by modulating microglia/macrophage polarization through the GSK3beta/PTEN/Akt axis. Brain 2015. XXVIIth International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function. Vancouver, Canada
  12. Shi Y, Pu H, Hu X, Stetler RA, Leak RK, Zheng P, Gao Y, and Chen J (2015) Aberrant activation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 mediates pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic microglial responses after ischemic/reperfusion injury. Brain 2015. XXVIIth International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function. Vancouver, Canada
  13. Shi Y, Zhang L, Mao L, Pu H, Hu X, Stetler RA, Gao Y, Leak RK, Keep RF, and Chen J (2015) Endothelial cytoskeletal reorganization contributes to surprisingly early blood-brain barrier disruption and permanent ischemic/reperfusion brain injury. Brain 2015. XXVIIth International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function. Vancouver, Canada
  14. Leak RK* (2015) Neuroscience and Hormesis. Invited seminar. Air Force Planning Meeting. Amherst, MA
  15. Leak RK*, Posimo JM, Broeren MT, Weiland NL, Heinemann SD, Mason DM, Hutchison DF, Luk KC, Lee VM, and Ayton S (2015) Brain region of origin determines neuronal vulnerability to α-synuclein+ inclusion formation and the therapeutic potential of extracellular ceruloplasmin. Gordon Conference: Parkinson's Disease. Data Blitz oral presentation and poster. Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
  16. Leak RK*, Gleixner AM, Pant DB, and Posimo JM (2015) Astrocytes remain neuroprotective even after severe stress and loss of glutathione defenses. International Dose-Response Society. University of Massachusetts. Amherst, MA
  17. Pant DB, Hutchison D, Wipf P, and Leak RK* (2015) Protecting astrocytes from the pathology of neurodegenerative disorders. Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  18. Hutchison D, Mason DM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* Impact of N-acetyl cysteine on alpha-synuclein pathology in experimental Parkinson's disease. Undergraduate Research Program Summer Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  19. Heinemann SD, Posimo JM, Weiland NL, Brodsky JL, Wipf P, and Leak RK* (2015) Hippocampal proteotoxicity is mitigated by N-acetyl cysteine. Undergraduate Research Program Summer Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  20. Pant DB and Leak RK* (2015) Severely stressed astrocytes can tolerate paraquat-induced oxidative stress better than naïve astrocytes. University Honors College Undergraduate Research Fair. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  21. Posimo JM, Gleixner AM, Broeren MT, Weiland NL, Brodsky JL, Wipf P, and Leak RK* (2015) Impact of aging and proteotoxic stress on heat shock protein defenses in the neo- and allocortex of the telencephalic edifice. 9th Annual Aging Institute Research Day. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  22. Pant DB, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2015) Astrocytes can adapt to severe oxidative stress. University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  23. Leak RK*, Gleixner AM, Unnithan AS, Choi HJH, Weilnau JN (2014) Adaptation or sensitization to stress is dependent upon changes in glutathione. Society for Neuroscience. 391.07. Nanosymposium presentation. Washington, D.C.
  24. Posimo JM, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2014) Selective vulnerability in the telencephalic cortex: Implications for topographic neurodegeneration. Society for Neuroscience. 693.21. Washington, D.C.
  25. Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2014) N-acetyl cysteine protects primary cortical astrocytes and neurons against proteotoxic stress. Society for Neuroscience. 305.08. Washington, D.C.
  26. Nouraei N, Leak RK, and Johnson DA (2014) The effect of hippocampal and/or striatal injection of a-synuclein fibrils on novel object and novel place recognition in rats. Society for Neuroscience. 359.17. Washington, D.C.
  27. Han L, Shi Y, Zhang L, Zhang F, Hu X, Zhang W, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2014) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids enhance cerebral angiogenesis and provide long-term protection after stroke. Society for Neuroscience. 804.22. Washington, D.C.
  28. Jing Z, Chen X, Stetler RA, Weng Z, Gan Y, Zhang F, Gao Y, Leak RK, Chen J, and Cao G (2014) Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase protects white matter injury in cerebral ischemia. Society for Neuroscience. 805.09. Washington, D.C.
  29. Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2014) Severely stressed astrocytes can still protect neighboring neurons. 6th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA. Abstract 25. ** Won 1st prize for best poster
  30. Nouraei N, Weilnau J, , Leak RK* (2014) Testing antioxidant therapies in acute and chronic animal models of Parkinson's disease. 6th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Abstract 43. Pittsburgh, PA
  31. Posimo JM, Gleixner AM, Brodsky JL, Wipf P, and Leak RK* (2014) Allocortex is more vulnerable to loss of heat shock protein activity than neocortex. 6th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Abstract 45. Pittsburgh, PA
  32. Leak RK* (2014) Topography of vulnerability to alpha-synuclein fibrils in the cerebral cortex. Michael J. Fox Foundation. New York City, NY
  33. Li P, Leak RK, Zhang F, Cao G, Gao Y, and Chen J (2014) APE1 upregulation reduces oxidative DNA damage and protects hippocampal neurons from ischemic injury. International Stroke Conference 45: A8. San Diego, CA
  34. Gleixner AM, Serpico E, Pant DB, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2014) Astrocyte preconditioning by severe stress is glutathione- but not heat shock protein 70-dependent. 13th annual meeting of the International Dose-Response Society. University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA
  35. Jiang Y, Rumble JL, Unnithan AS, Pulugulla SH, Choi HJH, Posimo JP, Gleixner AM, Leak RK* (2014) N-acetyl cysteine blunts impact of proteasome inhibition in a glutathione-independent manner. American Pharmacists Association National Conference. Orlando, FL
  36. Leak RK*, Posimo JM, and Gleixner AM (2014) Defensive responses to cellular stress and aging in the neocortex vs allocortex of the telencephalon. Keystone symposium on Parkinson's Disease: Genetics, Mechanisms and Therapeutics. Keystone, CO
  37. Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2013) N-acetyl cysteine decreases protein misfolding stress in astrocytes and neurons. 5th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA **Won 2nd prize for best poster
  38. Crum TS, Gleixner AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK* (2013) Chaperones in the olfactory bulb. 5th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  39. Posimo JM, Gleixner AM, and Leak RK* (2013) Defensive Responses to Cellular Stress and Aging in the Neocortex and Allocortex of the Telencephalon. 5th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  40. Nouraei N, Posimo JM, Flaherty PT, and Leak RK* (2013) Protecting neurons against proteotoxicity in vivo. 5th Annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  41. Leak RK* (2013) Severe stress in glial astrocytes; implications for neurodegenerative diseases. Invited speaker at Slippery Rock University Department of Chemistry. Slippery Rock, PA (2nd invitation to SRU)
  42. Leak RK* (2013) Astrocyte plasticity revealed by adaptations to severe proteotoxic stress. Invited speaker at Dose Response 2013: Implications for toxicology, medicine, and risk assessment. University of Massachussetts, Amherst, MA
  43. Zhang M, Li W, Leak RK, Chen J, and Zhang F (2013) Impact of ATP-induced mild hypothermia on focal cerebral ischemia in rats. International Stroke Conference, Abstract 44: TP109 Honolulu, HI
  44. Rumble JL and Leak RK* (2013) Heat shock protein 70 mediates protection of N-acetyl cysteine in neuronal cells. The 2013 Undergraduate Exhibition 303, p.17. Penn State University Park Campus. State College, PA.
  45. Jiang Y, Rumble JL, Posimo JM, Titler AM, and Leak RK* (2013) N-acetyl cysteine protects neuronal cells by a glutathione-independent and Hsp70-dependent mechanism. Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  46. Unnithan AS and Leak RK* (2013) High-throughput model of dual-hit hypothesis in neuronal cells; impact of glutathione. Undergraduate Research Fair, University Honors College. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA
  47. Leak RK*, Titler AM, Posimo JM, (2013) Astrocyte plasticity revealed by adaptations to severe proteotoxic stress. Dose-Response 2013: Implications for Toxicology, Medicine, and Risk Assessment. p. 37. University of Massachussetts, Amherst, MA
  48. Weng Z, Zhang L, Stetler RA, Leak RK, Li P, Atkins GB, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Hsp27 protects the blood-brain barrier against ischemia-induced loss of integrity. Brain 2013. Shanghai, China
  49. Zhang F, Zhang M, Wang S, Zhang W, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activation mediates the neuroprotective effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids against ischemic stroke. Brain 2013. Shanghai, China.
  50. Zhang L, Luo Y, Leak RK, Li P, Zhao H, Liu X, Ling F, Jia J, Chen J, and Ji X (2013) Peroxiredoxin 2 battles PARP1- and p53-dependent pro-death pathways following ischemic injury. Brain 2013. Shanghai, China.
  51. Wang J, Liou A, Ren Z, Zhang L, Brown B, Cui X, Badylak S, Cai Y, Guan Y, Leak RK, Chen J, Ji X, and Chen L (2013). Neurorestorative effect of urinary bladder matrix-mediated neural stem cell transplantation following traumatic brain injury in rats. Brain 2013. Shanghai, China.
  52. Wang G, Xu H, Guo Y, Jiang X, Pu H, Mao L, Liou AKF, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Histone deacetylase inhibition prevents white matter lesions by titrating microglia/macrophase polarization following experimental traumatic brain injury. Brain 2013. Shanghai, China
  53. Wang G, Hu X, Guo Y, Jiang X, Mao L, Liou AKF, Leak RK, Gao Y, and Chen J (2013) Histone deacetylase inhibition prevents white matter lesions by titrating microglia/macrophase polarization following experimental traumatic brain injury. Society for Neuroscience. 628.15. San Diego, CA
  54. Leak RK*, Posimo JM, Titler AM, Choi H, and Unnithan AS (2012) Differential neo- and allocortical vulnerability to proteasome inhibition in vitro mimics topography of human neurodegeneration. Gordon Conference on Neurobiology of Brain Disorders. Stonehill College, MA
  55. Choi H, Unnithan AS, Titler AM, Posimo AM, and Leak RK (2012) Synergistic toxicity of two proteasome inhibitor hits is dependent upon glutathione loss. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Clinical Meeting. 2-331. Las Vegas, NV
  56. Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK (2012) Astrocyte plasticity revealed by adaptations to severe proteotoxic stress. Society for Neuroscience. 63.15. New Orleans, LA
  57. Posimo JM, Titler AM, and Leak RK (2012) Neocortical neurons are more vulnerable than allocortical neurons in a high-throughput model of proteotoxic stress. Society for Neuroscience. 64.18. New Orleans, LA
  58. Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK (2012) Astrocyte plasticity revealed by adaptations to severe proteotoxic stress. 4th Annual American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  59. Posimo JM, Titler AM, and Leak RK (2012) Neocortical neurons are more vulnerable than allocortical neurons in a high-throughput model of proteotoxic stress. 4th Annual American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  60. Jiang Y, Rumble J, Posimo JM, Titler AM, Choi H, Unnithan AS, and Leak RK (2012) N-acetyl cysteine protects neuronal cells by a glutathione-independent and Hsp70-dependent mechanism. Summer Research Symposium. Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  61. Choi H, Unnithan AS, Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK (2012) Rescue from a two hit high-throughput model of neurodegeneration with N-acetyl cysteine. Duquesne University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  62. Harun R, Zhou H, Wagner AK, and Leak RK (2011) An examination of striatal c-Fos activation following controlled cortical impact in rats. National Neurotrauma Symposium. Hollywood, FL
  63. Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK (2011) Pretreatment with MG132 protects primary astrocytes against subsequent toxic exposures. 3rd Annual American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  64. Posimo JM, Titler AM, and Leak RK (2011) Topographical differences in sensitivity to proteasome inhibition in mammalian cerebral cortex. 3rd Annual American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists Pittsburgh Chapter Student Research Symposium. Pittsburgh, PA
  65. Leak RK (2011) Adaptation to cellular stress in models of Parkinson's disease. Slippery Rock Department of Biology Seminar Series. Pittsburgh, PA
  66. Leak RK (2011) Adaptation to cellular stress in models of Parkinson's disease. Duquesne Department of Biology Seminar Series. Pittsburgh, PA
  67. Parra LA, Baust TB, Leak RK, Smith AD, Zigmond MJ, and Torres GE (2010) A novel role for the molecular chaperone Hsc70 in the regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase activity and subcellular distribution. Society for Neuroscience. 741.3. San Diego, CA
  68. Lopresti BJ, Dettmer AM, Leak RK, Rockcastle NJ, Zigmond MJ, Mathis C, Zhang Z, and Cameron JL. (2010) Regular exercise training protects against MPTP-damage to nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates. The Eighth International Symposium on Functional Neuroreceptor Mapping of the Living Brain - NRM 2010. Glasgow, Scotland
  69. Mitchell AC, Leak RK, Garbett K, Greenough WT, Zigmond MJ, Cameron JL, and Mirnics K (2010) The effects of exercise on the brain transcriptome. Society for Neuroscience. 460.1. San Diego, CA
  70. Dettmer AM, Lopresti BJ, Leak RK, Rockcastle N, Zigmond MJ, Mathis CA, Zhang A, and Cameron JL (2010) Physical activity protects the striatum against MPTP damage in nonhuman primates. Society for Neuroscience. 460.11. San Diego, CA
  71. Posimo JM, Titler AM, Cavanaugh JE, and Leak RK (2010) Age-related increases in ceruloplasmin in the mouse mesencephalon. Metals and Ions in Biology conference at Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA. **Won Best Poster award
  72. Titler AM, Posimo JM, and Leak RK (2010) Oxidative stress elicits refractory response to subsequent toxin exposure. Metals and Ions in Biology conference at Duquesne University. Pittsburgh, PA
  73. Cameron JL, Rockcastle N, Zigmond MJ, Leak RK, Smith AD, Lopresti BJ, Mathis CA, Mirnics K, Williams NI, and Zhang Z (2009) Exercise protects the striatum against MPTP damage in nonhuman primates. Society for Neuroscience. 430.7. Chicago, IL **Abstract chosen for a press conference
  74. Parra LA, Baust TB, Quiroz M, Leak RK, and Torres GE (2009) A novel interaction between the molecular chaperone Hsc70 and tyrosine hydroxylase. Society for Neuroscience. 131.9. Chicago, IL
  75. Leak RK (2008) Adaptation to chronic MG132 reduces oxidative toxicity via CuZnSOD. Pittsburgh Area Ubiquitin-Proteasome Meeting. Pittsburgh, PA
  76. Leak RK, Zhang Z, Castro SL, Lopresti BJ, Mathis CA, Zigmond MJ, and Cameron JL (2008) Impact of exercise in a non-human primate model of Parkinson's disease. Seventh International Symposium on Functional Neuroreceptor Mapping of Living Brain. Neuroreceptor Mapping '08. Pittsburgh, PA
  77. Leak RK, Jaumotte JD, and Zigmond MJ (2008) Responses to low and high cellular stress in neuronal cortical cultures. Society for Neuroscience. 343.21. Washington, DC
  78. Lopresti BJ, Zhang Z, Zigmond MJ, Leak RK, Mathis CA, and JL Cameron (2008) Increased survival of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons following a toxic MPTP insult in the exercising primate: A [11C]DTBZ PET study. Seventh International Symposium on Functional Neuroreceptor Mapping of Living Brain. Pittsburgh, PA
  79. Leak RK, Wong MS, Zigmond MJ, and Liou KF (2007) Proteasome inhibition induces protection against oxidative stress in catecholaminergic cells. Society for Neuroscience. 382.7. San Diego, CA
  80. Mirnics K, Garbett K, Mitchell AC, Sullivan E, Leak RK, Zigmond MJ, and Cameron JL (2007) Spontaneous activity and neocortical gene expression in non-human primates. Society for Neuroscience. 589.9. San Diego, CA
  81. Leak RK, Zigmond MJ, and Liou KF (2007) Adaptation of catecholaminergic cells to MG-132 and reduced vulnerability to oxidative stress. 11th Annual National Conference of Morris K. Udall Centers for Excellence in Parkinson's Research. Pittsburgh, PA
  82. Lindgren NL, Leak RK, Smith AD, and Zigmond MJ (2006) Role of MAP kinases in the neuroprotective effects of GDNF in vivo. Society for Neuroscience. 756.7. Atlanta, GA
  83. Liou KF, Leak RK, Li L, Kotevski L, and Zigmond MJ (2006) Characterization of the functional differences between LRRK2 wild-type and Y1699C mutant genes. Society for Neuroscience. 173.9. Atlanta, GA

cover JNC

Front Cover: Primary olfactory bulb cultures from postnatal rats were immunostained on day-in-vitro 7 for the neuronal
marker microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2, green) and the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, red).
Nuclei were labeled blue with Hoechst.

Read the full article ‘Heat shock protein responses to aging and proteotoxicity in the olfactory bulb' by T. S. Crum,
A. M. Gleixner, J. M. Posimo, D. M. Mason, M. T. Broeren, S. D. Heinemann, P. Wipf, J. L. Brodsky and R. K. Leak
(J. Neurochem. 2015, vol. 133 (6), pp. 780-794) on doi: 10.1111/jnc.13041