Adam Ferguson, PhD

Associate Professor
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



Analysis of Normal High-Frequency Intracranial Pressure Values and Treatment Threshold in Neurocritical Care Patients: Insights into Normal Values and a Potential Treatment Threshold.

JAMA neurology

Hawryluk GWJ, Nielson JL, Huie JR, Zimmermann L, Saigal R, Ding Q, Hirschi R, Zeiler FA, Ferguson A, Manley G

The first 24?h: opioid administration in people with spinal cord injury and neurologic recovery.

Spinal cord

Stampas A, Pedroza C, Bush JN, Ferguson AR, Kramer JLK, Hook M

Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Spinal Cord Injury (TRACK-SCI): an overview of initial enrollment and demographics.

Neurosurgical focus

Tsolinas RE, Burke JF, DiGiorgio AM, Thomas LH, Duong-Fernandez X, Harris MH, Yue JK, Winkler EA, Suen CG, Pascual LU, Ferguson AR, Huie JR, Pan JZ, Hemmerle DD, Singh V, Torres-Espin A, Omondi C, Kyritsis N, Haefeli J, Weinstein PR, de Almeida Neto CA, Kuo YH, Taggard D, Talbott JF, Whetstone WD, Manley GT, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS, Dhall SS


Journal of neurotrauma

Huie JR, Mondello S, Lindsell C, Antiga L, Yuh EL, Zanier ER, Masson S, Rosario B, Ferguson AR

Statistical guidelines for handing missing data in traumatic brain injury clinical research.

Journal of neurotrauma

Nielson JL, Cooper SR, Seabury S, Luciani D, Fabio A, Temkin N, Ferguson AR