Thomas C. Foster, Ph.D.

Foster TomProfessor & Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Research on Cognitive Aging and Memory

Department of Neuroscience
University of Florida
1149 Newell Drive
PO Box 100244
Gainesville, FL  32611-0244
Office Phone: (352) 273-5093
Lab Phone: (352) 392-6863
Lab Members: Foster Lab


1987 Ph.D.
Bowman Gray School of Medicine
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
1987-1990 Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Colorado
Denver, Colorado

Key Words: Memory, Aging, Synaptic Plasticity, Gene Regulation

Research Summary:

Attention and memory difficulties increase with advancing age. These problems are associated with changes in metabolism, which alters the function of brain cells and makes them vulnerable to damage.  The two main goals of the lab are to identify mechanisms for age-related memory impairment and to test treatments to alleviate memory deficits.

Dr. Foster is the Evelyn F. McKnight Chair for Research on Cognitive Aging and Memory and Professor of Neuroscience and the Genetics and Genomics Program at the University of Florida. Dr Foster’s research program utilizes a combination of behavioral characterization with biochemical, molecular, and electrophysiological techniques to obtain a vertically integrated perspective on neural aging, from the molecular to the cognitive level. Electrophysiological techniques, including patch-clamp recording, are employed to investigate the relationship between age-related cognitive decline and altered synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Techniques for next generation sequencing of RNA and DNA methylation are employed to test hypotheses of gene regulation in resiliency in the face of aging, inflammation, stress, and changing hormonal milieu. Finally, studies in humans and animal models examine miRNA from plasma exosomes as markers of aging and disease.

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