Joel C. Geerling, M.D., Ph.D.

Joel C. Geerling, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Neurology
Research focus: 

Identifying and deciphering previously unknown connections between neurons in the brainstem and other subcortical brain regions

Office

319-356-2571
2205 RCP

Lab

1320 PBDB
319-353-5425

In the lab, we use genetic techniques to isolate and manipulate neurons that mediate basic physiologic functions including sleep, appetite, bladder control, and thermoregulation. My focus lies in identifying and deciphering previously unknown connections between neurons in the brainstem and other subcortical brain regions by applying basic developmental-genetic information and selecting Cre-transgenic mouse models that allow us to target specific subpopulation(s) of neurons that control wakefulness and other basic functions. Beyond the basic scientific importance of this work, we hope to improve the understanding and treatment of patients with disorders of arousal and autonomic function, particularly in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Lewy body disease, Alzheimer's dementia, MSA, and FTD.

Neurons








Barrington's nucleus contains neurons that use glutamate as a fast excitatory transmitter (green, ovoid cluster of neurons at center: GFP Cre-reporter for vesicular glutamate transporter type 2). Surrounding Barrington's nucleus are noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (red/yellow, immunofluorescence for a catecholamine synthetic enzyme, tyrosine hydoxylase), cholinergic neurons in the posterior tail of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (magenta/white, immunofluorescence for the ACh synthetic enzyme, choline acetyltransferase), and other populations of neurons. Axial section through the mouse pontine tegmentum.

Apply Now

Learn from
top-notch researchers
at the University of Iowa