Adam Ferguson, MS, PhD

Department of Neurological Surgery
Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC)
+1 415 476-5326
Research Overview: 

Background: Our research focuses on mechanisms of recovery after neurological trauma. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord invoke numerous, interacting biological processes that work in concert to determine recovery success. Some of these biological processes have contradictory effects at different phases of recovery. For example, mechanisms of synaptic regulation can contribute to cell death in the early phases of recovery but may promote plasticity and restoration of function at later stages.  Understanding the mechanisms of recovery in the complex microenvironment of the injured central nervous system (CNS) requires large-scale integration of biological information and functional outcomes (i.e., Bioinformatics). Our work uses a combination of laboratory studies and statistical modeling approaches to provide an information-rich picture of the syndrome produced by trauma in translational in vivo models.  The long term goal of this research is to provide system-level therapeutic targets for enhancing recovery of function after brain and spinal injury.

Overarching goal: Understand and harness CNS plasticity to promote recovery of function after brain and spinal cord injury through bench-science and translational computational approaches.

Ongoing Research:

Computational Syndromic Discovery: Development of aggregate databases of basic spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury research data from multiple research centers to enable sophisticated knowledge-discovery, data-sharing, and multivariate quantification of the complete constellation of changes produced by neurotrauma.

Bench science: Inflammatory modulation of glutamate-receptor metaplasticity and its role in spinal cord learning and recovery of function after neurotrauma. Techniques: biochemistry (quantitative western, qRT-PCR, ELISA), histology (immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization), quantitative image analysis (robotic microscopy, confocal, deconvolution, image math) and behavioral analysis (locomotor scaling, fine-motor control, learning and memory).

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
CNS Plasticity, Bioinformatics, and Recovery from Injury



Correction: Expert-augmented automated machine learning optimizes hemodynamic predictors of spinal cord injury outcome.

PloS one

Chou A, Torres-Espin A, Kyritsis N, Huie JR, Khatry S, Funk J, Hay J, Lofgreen A, Shah R, McCann C, Pascual LU, Amorim E, Weinstein PR, Manley GT, Dhall SS, Pan JZ, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS, Whetstone WD, Ferguson AR, TRACK-SCI Investigators

Safety and comparative efficacy of initiating low-molecular-weight heparin within 24 hours of injury or surgery for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in patients with spinal cord injury: a prospective TRACK-SCI registry study.

Neurosurgical focus

Lui A, Park C, Chryssikos T, Radabaugh H, Patel A, Aabedi AA, Ferguson AR, Torres Espin A, Mummaneni PV, Dhall SS, Duong-Fernandez X, Saigal R, Chou A, Pan J, Singh V, Hemmerle DD, Kyritsis N, Talbott JF, Pascual LU, Huie JR, Whetstone WD, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS, Weinstein PR, Manley GT, DiGiorgio AM

Longitudinal Recovery Following Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injury.

JAMA Network Open

Etemad LL, Yue JK, Barber J, Nelson LD, Bodien YG, Satris GG, Belton PJ, Madhok DY, Huie JR, Hamidi S, Tracey JX, Coskun BC, Wong JC, Yuh EL, Mukherjee P, Markowitz AJ, Huang MC, Tarapore PE, Robertson CS, Diaz-Arrastia R, Stein MB, Ferguson AR, Puccio AM, Okonkwo DO, Giacino JT, McCrea MA, Manley GT, Temkin NR, DiGiorgio AM, TRACK-TBI Investigators

Integrating, Harmonizing, and Curating Studies with High-Frequency and Hourly Physiological Data: Proof of Concept from Seven Traumatic Brain Injury Datasets.

Journal of neurotrauma

Yaseen A, Robertson CS, Cruz Navarro J, Chen J, Heckler B, DeSantis S, Temkin N, Barber J, Foreman B, Diaz-Arrastia RR, Chesnut RM, Manley GT, Wright D, Vassar M, Ferguson AR, Markowitz AJ, Yamal JM

Republication of "Uses of Braces and Orthotics for Conservative Management of Foot and Ankle Disorders".

Foot & ankle orthopaedics

Elattar O, Smith T, Ferguson A, Farber D, Wapner K