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Micheal Yard, Senior Lecturer

Current Research

My teaching philosophy is based upon the need to truly test the mettle of both the students as well as, and perhaps most importantly, myself. I believe without question that teaching is a tremendous honor, which I take seriously. I truly hope to demonstrate to my students, by example, that learning is a lifelong experience, and I am grateful if their time in my classroom inspires them to continue their individual quests for knowledge, with passion.

My area of research involves the neuroprotective effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) against glutamate toxicity in vitro. I have utilized neuronal, non-neuronal, and hippocampal slice systems in the lab to demonstrate toxicity and protection against glutamate and its analogues, both at a molecular as well as microscopic and gross levels. 

The work I have participated in has shown that: 1) TRH protects against glutamate-induced toxicity; and 2) TRH signaling is selectively down regulated as part of this neuroprotective mechanism.  Potential clinical applications exist in patients with neural trauma, chemical injury, seizure disorders, and other situations where glutamate over-stimulation is known to elicit cell injury and death. The data indicates that heterologous receptor down-regulation may, in part, account for the neuroprotective effect of TRH against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in cell, neuronal, or slice systems.