Randy F. Stout, Jr., PhD – Principal Investigator – Cell Biologist – Neuroscientist
Randy Stout is a neuroscientist and cell biologist. The general topic of his research is on how brain cells interact. His research focuses on glial cells, which represent the majority of the cells in the human brain and are required for brain homeostasis, metabolic and structural support of neurons, control of synapse function and strength (synapses are the connections between neurons), and regulating movement of molecules into and out of the brain. Stout’s research on glia centers on their connections called gap junctions. Gap junctions act as complex molecular machines that establish sites of interaction between cells and are critical for normal tissue development and function throughout the human body with specialized roles in the brain. It will be important to understand how these fascinating cellular connections contribute to recovery from brain injury.
Stout uses high-resolution light microscopy to reveal how molecules, cells, and tissues work with a bottom-up approach. This means that his research is often aimed at testing how proteins and other biological molecules come together to form complex and modifiable supramolecular machines that control the function of cells and how such complexes go on to determine how tissues form and function in health and disease-states.
Stout has continuing collaborations with colleagues at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., where he did his postdoctoral training and research. His interest in glia and gap junctions started early in his post-graduate training at the University of California, Riverside, and continued during his doctoral training at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (Ph.D., Neurobiology). His interest in cell biology and genetics developed during his undergraduate training (B.S., Biology at Cornell University). He is a member of several national societies including the New York Academy of Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience, the Genetics Society of America, the American Society for Cell Biology, the International Society for Neurochemistry, and the American Society for Neurochemistry (for which he serves on the Membership Committee).
Stout also has interests in teaching that include cellular neurobiology and the role of glia and the blood-brain barrier in health and disease. He enjoys introducing the world of academic scientific research to undergraduates and medical students, especially with regard to areas such as scientific method and the importance of basic/foundational bioscience. He also enjoys developing graphical illustrations, 3D animations, and most recently immersive Virtual Reality-based tools to aid student learning and to make learning/training more efficient through experimentation.
Honors & Awards
- American Society for Neurochemistry Young Investigator’s Educational Enhancement travel award to attend and present at 2016 ASN Annual Meeting, Denver, Colo.
- 2016 Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Neuroscience Department Junior Neuroscience Investigator Research Award
- Invited Discussion Leader to the 2015 Gordon Research Seminar: Glial Biology: Functional Interactions Among Glia & Neurons, March 2015
- 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry Advanced School Travel award for “Neurochemistry of Glia-Neuron Interactions,” April 16-20, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico.
Medical Student Researchers:
(OMSII indicates 2nd year in medical school)
Daniel Tanis (OMSII) – Project: Computational simulations of morphology-physiology relationships of gap junctions at the mesoscale.
Maddie Messmer (OMSII) – Project: VR neuroantomy learning and experimentation environment development.
Jerry Jose (OMSII) – Project: VR neuroantomy learning and experimentation environment development.
Nicholas Frangella (OMSII) – Project: VR neuroantomy learning and experimentation environment development.
Chloe Bodden (OMSII) – Project: Survey of CBD usage in combat athletes.
Viraj Modi (OMSII) – Project: Survey of CBD usage in combat athletes.
Michael Gleeson (OMSII) – Project: Astrocyte-Oligodendrocyte Gap junction formation and endocytosis.
Yamini Nori (NYIT Undergrad) – Project: Astrocyte-Oligodendrocyte Gap junction formation and endocytosis.
Himani Jani (NYIT Undergrad) – Project: Astrocyte-Oligodendrocyte Gap junction formation and endocytosis.