Adam Ferguson, MS, PhD

Department of Neurological Surgery
Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC)
+1 628 206-3734
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



Association of day-of-injury serum glial fibrillary acidic protein concentration and six-month posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with mild traumatic brain injury.

Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Kulbe JR, Jain S, Nelson LD, Korley FK, Mukherjee P, Sun X, Okonkwo DO, Giacino JT, Vassar MJ, Robertson CS, McCrea MA, Wang KKW, Temkin N, Mac Donald CL, Taylor SR, Ferguson AR, Markowitz AJ, Diaz-Arrastia R, Manley GT, Stein MB, TRACK-TBI Investigators

Unsupervised Machine Learning on Motion Capture Data Uncovers Movement Strategies in Low Back Pain.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology

Keller AV, Torres-Espin A, Peterson TA, Booker J, O'Neill C, Lotz JC, Bailey JF, Ferguson AR, Matthew RP

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

Empowering Data Sharing and Analytics through the Open Data Commons for Traumatic Brain Injury Research.

Neurotrauma reports

Chou A, Torres-Espín A, Huie JR, Krukowski K, Lee S, Nolan A, Guglielmetti C, Hawkins BE, Chaumeil MM, Manley GT, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Martone ME, Grethe JS, Rosi S, Ferguson AR