Janet Dubinsky, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Neuroscience Research:

We have examined the involvement of the mitochondrial permeability transition in isolated CNS mitochondria from normal and Huntington's Disease model mice.  At the systems level, we are currently examining metabolite changes in brains of Huntington's Disease model mice and how these metabolite changes can be used both as biomarkers for disease progression and to provide insight into mechanisms of disease progression.

A new project is investigating how certain classes of drugs might alter synaptic vesicle availability or cycling as a means of limiting high frequency activity in epilepsy.  

Research in Science Teaching:

The field of neuroscience probes the cellular, molecular and circuit properties contributing to learning and memory, processes that should influence teachers’ classroom strategies and practices.  Providing professional development for postbaccalaureate teachers into the biological basis of learning and memory applies the new knowledge generated in my field towards solving a pressing societal need, improving K-12 science education.  As a research scientist, communicating this knowledge to teacher audiences is a part of translational research.  BrainU is a professional development program for K-12 science teachers interested in understanding the brain and its relevance to education (www.brainu.org).  BrainU was created in response to requests from teachers to learn more neuroscience than could be covered in one-hour classroom visits.  My goals for the BrainU program are to engage teachers both in teaching about and applying neuroscience to their classroom practices and to motivate teachers and their students to learn more about themselves and the pursuit of science.  Our research goals are to probe how learning about the nervous system motivates teachers and students to teach, learn and do science in their classrooms.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Brick K, Cooper JL, Mason L, Faeflen S, Monmia J, and Dubinsky JM. 2021. Training-of-Trainers Neuroscience and Mental Health Teacher Education in Liberia Improves Self-Reported Support for Students. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 15:653069.
  • Brick K, Cooper JL, Mason L, Faeflen S, Monmia J and Dubinsky JM. 2021. Tiered Neuroscience and Mental Health Professional Development in Liberia Improves Teacher Self-Efficacy, Self-Responsibility, and Motivation. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 15:664730.
  • Chang Z, Schwartz MS, Hinesley V and Dubinsky JM. 2021 Neuroscience Concepts Changed Teachers’ Views of Pedagogy and Students.  Frontiers in Psychology.  12: 685856. 
  • Ellingson CL, Edwards K, Roehrig GH, Hoelscher MC, Haroldson RA, Dubinsky JM. Connecting the sots from professional development to student learning. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2021 Dec;20(4):ar57.
  • Chang Z, Schwartz MS, Hinesley V, Dubinsky JM. Neuroscience concepts changed teachers' views of pedagogy and students. Front Psychol. 2021 Aug 11;12:685856.
  • Schmied A, Varma S, Dubinsky JM. Acceptability of neuroscientific interventions in education. Sci Eng Ethics. 2021 Aug 5;27(4):52.
  • Brick K, Cooper JL, Mason L, Faeflen S, Monmia J, Dubinsky JM. Training-of-trainers neuroscience and mental health teacher education in Liberia improves self-reported support for students. Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Jun 18;15:653069.
  • Brick K, Cooper JL, Mason L, Faeflen S, Monmia J, Dubinsky JM. Tiered neuroscience and mental health professional development in Liberia improves teacher self-efficacy, self-responsibility, and motivation. Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 May 11;15:664730.
  • Schleisman KB, Guzey SS, Lie R, Michlin M, Desjardins C, Shackleton HS, Schwerdfeger AC, Michalowski M, Dubinsky JM. Learning neuroscience with technology: A scaffolded, active learning approach. J Sci Educ Technol. 2018;27(6):566-580.
  • Dubinsky JM, Guzey SS, Schwartz MS, Roehrig G, MacNabb C, Schmied A, Hinesley V, Hoelscher M, Michlin M, Schmitt L, Ellingson C, Chang Z, Cooper JL. Contributions of neuroscience knowledge to teachers and their practice. Neuroscientist. 2019 Mar 21:1073858419835447.
  • Im SH, Cho JY, Dubinsky JM, Varma S.  Taking an educational psychology course improves neuroscience literacy but does not reduce belief in neuromyths.  PLoS One.  2018;13(2):e0192163.  PMID: 29401508
  • Dubinsky JM. Towards an understanding of energy impairment in Huntington's disease brain. J Huntingtons Dis. 2017;6(4):267-302
  • Lou S, Lepak VC, Eberly LE, Roth B, Cui W, Zhu XH, Öz G, Dubinsky JM. Oxygen consumption deficit in Huntington disease mouse brain under metabolic stress. Hum Mol Genet. 2016;25:2813-2826.
  • Yang X, Meehan AL, Rothman SM, Dubinsky JM. Seletracetam enhances short term depression in vitro. Epilepsy Res. 2015;117:17-22.
  • Abu-Odeh D, Dziobek D, Jimenez NT, Barbey C, Dubinsky JM. Active learning in a neuroethics course positively impacts moral judgment development in undergraduates. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2015;13(2):A110-119.
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