Ruth Barrientos
Assistant Research Professor • Behavioral Neuroscience
Psychology and Neuroscience • Center for Neuroscience

Office: Muenzinger D148D

Education: PhD, George Washington University, 2000

Research Interests: I am a behavioral neuroscientist researching the deleterious effects of an immune challenge (such as a serious bacterial infection, or surgery) on long-term memory, particularly in aged subjects. Aged subjects are more vulnerable to such challenges, which are accompanied by an exaggerated and long-lasting release of pro-inflammatory mediators called cytokines, in the brain. This sensitized pro-inflammatory response is driven by primed microglia, and results in impaired synaptic plasticity and long-term memory deficits. The goals of my research are to understand the mechanisms involved in this model, and to develop effective therapies to prevent and/or reverse these detrimental neurological and behavioral outcomes.

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