James R. West, PhD
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Department of Neuroscience &
8447 Riverside Pkwy
1005 Medical Research and Education Building
Bryan, TX 77807
Neuroteratology of Drugs of Abuse This laboratory is involved in studies focused on the effects of alcohol and cocaine on the developing brain. Animal model systems are used to address important questions, particularly related to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). One main focus is on factors that affect the risk and severity of fetal alcohol damage. For instance, our laboratory has found that the timing of the alcohol exposure, binge drinking, polydrug use and genetic factors all play a role in how much alcohol is dangerous to the developing fetus. Other aspects of our research investigates structure function relationships and neuroimmune system. The main focuses of our laboratory are now focused on the mechanism that causes fetal alcohol-induced cerebellar Purkinje cell death and identifying the specific damage caused by alcohol exposure during different discrete periods of brain development.