antino lab

Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment are an integral part of the treatment of patients inflicted with cancer. As cancer patients live longer, delayed treatment effects on normal tissue have become a concern. Damage to postnatal neurogenesis and mature neuronal morphology are now believed to be the cellular basis for much of the cognitive dysfunction that follows cancer treatment with cranial radiation and chemotherapy. Led by Antiño Allen, PhD, the laboratory utilizes pharmacologic approaches and genetic models to examine how the changes in the neuronal microenvironment (e.g. inflammation, oxidative stress) affects cognitive function.

For more information regarding our PhD programs, contact the UAMS Graduate School.


PhD Students

Tyler AlexanderTyler Alexander
BS in Biology, Morehouse College

Tyler is a PhD student in the biomedical sciences program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His research focuses on the effects of cancer treatment on cognition. Specifically, he studies the negative effects of Methotrexate, Cytosine Arabinoside and cranial radiotherapy on learning and memory in juvenile cancer models through the use of behavioral and molecular studies. Additionally, he is interested in characterizing underlying mechanisms leading to cognitive decline as well as finding potential treatments to ameliorate these negative effects of cancer treatment on the central nervous system.


Julie AndersonJulie Anderson
BS in Neuroscience, Tulane University

Julie’s research focus is to understand the behavioral and physiological alterations post-chemotherapy. Her aim is to elucidate chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairments and resultant hippocampal changes following common breast cancer chemotherapy, specifically CMF (Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate, and 5-Fluorouracil) treatment. Up to 75% of breast cancer survivors suffer from cognitive impairments lasting up to 20 years post-chemotherapy, yet ‘chemobrain’ is largely unexplained. Her goal is to advance our understanding of how and why these cognitive impairments are occurring so that breast cancer survivors may ultimately return to their pre-chemotherapy quality of life.


Thomas GrovesThomas Groves
BS in Psychology, University of Central Arkansas

Thomas is a PhD student in the Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences program.  His research examines how chemotherapeutic drugs affect neuronal anatomy and cognitive function. Thomas is studying on how 5-fluorouracil treatment affects hippocampal circuitry and long-term memory. This information will help us identify the mechanisms that underlie neuronal damage and cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapeutic treatment. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this work will help guide clinical research to protect the central nervous system from injury and improve the quality of life of cancer patients.


Frederico KifferFrederico Kiffer
BS in Biology/Music, Lyon College

Frederico’s research focus is on the effects of space radiation on learning and memory processes in the brain. We enjoy solar and cosmic radiation protection on Earth due to our protective magnetosphere and thick atmosphere. The hostile charged-particle radiation environment in space has been recently discovered to alter the dendritic arbor of neurons in different regions of the brain. Fred studies charged-particle radiation-induced dendritic remodeling within the hippocampus, and how these changes compromise hippocampus-dependent learning and memory processes in mice. Because there is currently no feasible shielding capable of mitigating charged-particle radiation in space, we are also assessing a potentially neuroprotective drug, which may one day be used to facilitate manned space exploration.