Eric Blalock, Ph.D.

Bio / Education: 

1989 B.S. Biology, Wake Forest University
1997 PhD Pharmacology, University of Kentucky

Research Description: 

Our lab uses cutting edge molecular, electrophysiologic, anatomic and behavioral techniques to study the influence of stress and sleep on aging brain function. We are particularly interested in how these changes may set the stage for age-related vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In collaboration with other laboratories, we are also investigating myelin, vasculature, and glucose utilization-related issues using the aging rodent brain. Our lab also focuses on bioinformatic disciplines related to analysis and integration of large data sets within and across studies.

Grants: 

Psychosocial Stress Interactions with Electrophysiology and Brain Aging
R01AG037868 (Blalock PI, 2 Co-investigators) 03/01/2011 – 02/28/2016
NIH/ NIA $1,517,830 (total)
Investigation of the influence of psychosocial stress on hippocampal function with age, as well as the potential for interventions to modify the effects of stress.

Hippocampal Synaptic Structure - Physiology During Aging (Renewal)
R01 AG004542-22 (Blalock Co-I; Landfield PI) 04/01/2011 – 03/31/2016
NIH/NIA $1,942,350
The major goals of this project are to investigate the mechanisms underlying altered Ca2+ regulation and impaired neuronal function or neuronal vulnerability with aging. Advanced Ca2+ imaging technology is used concomitantly with electrophysiology in cultures and hippocampal slices.

Hippocampal Electrophysiology and Myelinogenesis in Healthy Cognitive Aging
R01AG034605 (Blalock Co-I, PI Landfield) 09/01/09 – 08/31/14
NIH/NIA $2,993,890 (total)
The goal of this project is to test the novel hypothesis that increased myelinogenesis we have seen in the hippocampus during rodent aging is a major factor in cognitive decline.

Metabolic Syndrome and Hippocampal Calcium Dysregulation in Aging-related Memory Decline
R01AG033649 (Blalock Co-I, PI Thibault) 8/1/09- 7/31/14
NIH/NIA $1,477,375 (total)
This project investigates the role of metabolic syndrome in altered hippocampal Ca2+ homeostasis and tests the hypothesis that these actions are mediated in part by changes in brain insulin/glucose signaling pathways and can be counteracted by anti-diabetic drugs.

PubMed Publications: 

  • Hargis, K.E.;Blalock, E.M. "Transcriptional signatures of brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: What are our rodent models telling us?" Behavioural brain research 322, Pt B (2017): 311-328. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Maimaiti, S.;Anderson, K.L.;Demoll, C.;Brewer, L.D.;Rauh, B.A.;Gant, J.C.;Blalock, E.M.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O. "Intranasal Insulin Improves Age-Related Cognitive Deficits and Reverses Electrophysiological Correlates of Brain Aging." The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 71, 1 (2016): 30-9. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Huffman, D.M.;Staggs, K.E.;Yaghouby, F.;Agarwal, A.;O'Hara, B.F.;Donohue, K.D.;Blalock, E.M.;Sunderam, S.;Huffman, D.M.;Staggs, K.E.;Yaghouby, F.;Agarwal, A.;O'Hara, B.F.;Donohue, K.D.;Blalock, E.M.;Sunderam, S.;Blalock, E.M.;O'Hara, B.F.;Donohue, K.D.;Staggs, K.E.;Sunderam, S.;Agarwal, A.;Huffman, D.M.;Yaghouby, F. "Tunable somatosensory stimulation for selective sleep restriction studies in rodents." Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference 2016, (2016): 1640-1643. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Huffman, D.M.;Staggs, K.E.;Yaghouby, F.;Agarwal, A.;O'Hara, B.F.;Donohue, K.D.;Blalock, E.M.;Sunderam, S. "Tunable somatosensory stimulation for selective sleep restriction studies in rodents." Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference 2016, (2016): 1640-1643. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Gant, J.C.;Chen, K.C.;Kadish, I.;Blalock, E.M.;Thibault, O.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Reversal of Aging-Related Neuronal Ca2+ Dysregulation and Cognitive Impairment by Delivery of a Transgene Encoding FK506-Binding Protein 12.6/1b to the Hippocampus." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 35, 30 (2015): 10878-87. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Gant, J.C.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Kadish, I.;Porter, N.M.;Norris, C.M.;Thibault, O.;Landfield, P.W. "FK506-binding protein 1b/12.6: a key to aging-related hippocampal Ca2+ dysregulation?" European journal of pharmacology 739, (2014): 74-82. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Latimer, C.S.;Brewer, L.D.;Searcy, J.L.;Chen, K.C.;Popović, J.;Kraner, S.D.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M.;Landfield, P.W.;Porter, N.M. "Vitamin D prevents cognitive decline and enhances hippocampal synaptic function in aging rats." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, 41 (2014): E4359-66. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • McCorkle, J.R.;Leonard, M.K.;Kraner, S.D.;Blalock, E.M.;Ma, D.;Zimmer, S.G.;Kaetzel, D.M. "The metastasis suppressor NME1 regulates expression of genes linked to metastasis and patient outcome in melanoma and breast carcinoma." Cancer genomics & proteomics 11, 4 (2014): 175-94. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Buechel, H.M.;Popovic, J.;Staggs, K.;Anderson, K.L.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M. "Aged rats are hypo-responsive to acute restraint: implications for psychosocial stress in aging." Frontiers in aging neuroscience 6, (2014): 13. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Chen, K.C.;Blalock, E.M.;Curran-Rauhut, M.A.;Kadish, I.;Blalock, S.J.;Brewer, L.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Glucocorticoid-dependent hippocampal transcriptome in male rats: pathway-specific alterations with aging." Endocrinology 154, 8 (2013): 2807-20. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Pancani, T.;Anderson, K.L.;Brewer, L.D.;Kadish, I.;Demoll, C.;Landfield, P.W.;Blalock, E.M.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O. "Effect of high-fat diet on metabolic indices, cognition, and neuronal physiology in aging F344 rats." Neurobiology of aging 34, 8 (2013): 1977-87. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Federico, L.;Ren, H.;Mueller, P.A.;Wu, T.;Liu, S.;Popovic, J.;Blalock, E.M.;Sunkara, M.;Ovaa, H.;Albers, H.M.;Mills, G.B.;Morris, A.J.;Smyth, S.S. "Autotaxin and its product lysophosphatidic acid suppress brown adipose differentiation and promote diet-induced obesity in mice." Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.) 26, 5 (2012): 786-97. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Korrect, G.S.;Stromberg, A.J.;Erickson, D.R. "Gene expression analysis of urine sediment: evaluation for potential noninvasive markers of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome." The Journal of urology 187, 2 (2012): 725-32. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Porter, N.M.;Bohannon, J.H.;Curran-Rauhut, M.;Buechel, H.M.;Dowling, A.L.;Brewer, L.D.;Popovic, J.;Thibault, V.;Kraner, S.D.;Chen, K.C.;Blalock, E.M. "Hippocampal CA1 transcriptional profile of sleep deprivation: relation to aging and stress." PloS one 7, 7 (2012): e40128. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Searcy, J.L.;Phelps, J.T.;Pancani, T.;Kadish, I.;Popovic, J.;Anderson, K.L.;Beckett, T.L.;Murphy, M.P.;Chen, K.C.;Blalock, E.M.;Landfield, P.W.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O. "Long-term pioglitazone treatment improves learning and attenuates pathological markers in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease." Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD 30, 4 (2012): 943-61. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Buechel, H.M.;Popovic, J.;Geddes, J.W.;Landfield, P.W. "Microarray analyses of laser-captured hippocampus reveal distinct gray and white matter signatures associated with incipient Alzheimer's disease." Journal of chemical neuroanatomy 42, 2 (2011): 118-26. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Gant, J.C.;Chen, K.C.;Norris, C.M.;Kadish, I.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Disrupting function of FK506-binding protein 1b/12.6 induces the Ca²+-dysregulation aging phenotype in hippocampal neurons." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 31, 5 (2011): 1693-703. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Buechel, H.M.;Popovic, J.;Searcy, J.L.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M. "Deep sleep and parietal cortex gene expression changes are related to cognitive deficits with age." PloS one 6, 4 (2011): e18387. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Latimer, C.S.;Searcy, J.L.;Bridges, M.T.;Brewer, L.D.;Popović, J.;Blalock, E.M.;Landfield, P.W.;Thibault, O.;Porter, N.M. "Reversal of glial and neurovascular markers of unhealthy brain aging by exercise in middle-aged female mice." PloS one 6, 10 (2011): e26812. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Norris, C.M.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O.;Kraner, S.D.;Landfield, P.W. "Hippocampal 'zipper' slice studies reveal a necessary role for calcineurin in the increased activity of L-type Ca(2+) channels with aging." Neurobiology of aging 31, 2 (2010): 328-38. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Phelps, J.T.;Pancani, T.;Searcy, J.L.;Anderson, K.L.;Gant, J.C.;Popovic, J.;Avdiushko, M.G.;Cohen, D.A.;Chen, K.C.;Porter, N.M.;Thibault, O. "Effects of long-term pioglitazone treatment on peripheral and central markers of aging." PloS one 5, 4 (2010): e10405. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Grondin, R.;Chen, K.C.;Thibault, O.;Thibault, V.;Pandya, J.D.;Dowling, A.;Zhang, Z.;Sullivan, P.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Aging-related gene expression in hippocampus proper compared with dentate gyrus is selectively associated with metabolic syndrome variables in rhesus monkeys." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 30, 17 (2010): 6058-71. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Brewer, L.D.;Dowling, A.L.;Curran-Rauhut, M.A.;Landfield, P.W.;Porter, N.M.;Blalock, E.M. "Estradiol reverses a calcium-related biomarker of brain aging in female rats." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 29, 19 (2009): 6058-67. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Kadish, I.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Gant, J.C.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Hippocampal and cognitive aging across the lifespan: a bioenergetic shift precedes and increased cholesterol trafficking parallels memory impairment." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 29, 6 (2009): 1805-16. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Gant, J.C.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M.;Yang, J.;Bachstetter, A.;Kotick, J.;Schauwecker, P.E.;Hauser, K.F.;Smith, G.M.;Mervis, R.;Li, Y.;Barnes, G.N. "Decreased number of interneurons and increased seizures in neuropilin 2 deficient mice: implications for autism and epilepsy." Epilepsia 50, 4 (2009): 629-45. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Rowe, W.B.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Kadish, I.;Wang, D.;Barrett, J.E.;Thibault, O.;Porter, N.M.;Rose, G.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Hippocampal expression analyses reveal selective association of immediate-early, neuroenergetic, and myelinogenic pathways with cognitive impairment in aged rats." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 27, 12 (2007): 3098-110. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Hulshizer, R.;Blalock, E.M. "Post hoc pattern matching: assigning significance to statistically defined expression patterns in single channel microarray data." BMC bioinformatics 8, (2007): 240. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Landfield, P.W.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Porter, N.M. "A new glucocorticoid hypothesis of brain aging: implications for Alzheimer's disease." Current Alzheimer research 4, 2 (2007): 205-12. [PubMed Link] |
  • Norris, C.M.;Blalock, E.M.;Thibault, O.;Brewer, L.D.;Clodfelter, G.V.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Electrophysiological mechanisms of delayed excitotoxicity: positive feedback loop between NMDA receptor current and depolarization-mediated glutamate release." Journal of neurophysiology 96, 5 (2006): 2488-500. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Kelly, K.M.;Nadon, N.L.;Morrison, J.H.;Thibault, O.;Barnes, C.A.;Blalock, E.M. "The neurobiology of aging." Epilepsy research 68 Suppl 1, (2006): S5-20. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Stromberg, A.J.;Norris, C.M.;Kadish, I.;Kraner, S.D.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Harnessing the power of gene microarrays for the study of brain aging and Alzheimer's disease: statistical reliability and functional correlation." Ageing research reviews 4, 4 (2005): 481-512. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Norris, C.M.;Kadish, I.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Thibault, V.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W.;Kraner, S.D. "Calcineurin triggers reactive/inflammatory processes in astrocytes and is upregulated in aging and Alzheimer's models." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 25, 18 (2005): 4649-58. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Geddes, J.W.;Chen, K.C.;Porter, N.M.;Markesbery, W.R.;Landfield, P.W. "Incipient Alzheimer's disease: microarray correlation analyses reveal major transcriptional and tumor suppressor responses." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101, 7 (2004): 2173-8. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Sharrow, K.;Herman, J.P.;Porter, N.M.;Foster, T.C.;Landfield, P.W. "Gene microarrays in hippocampal aging: statistical profiling identifies novel processes correlated with cognitive impairment." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 23, 9 (2003): 3807-19. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Peng, X.;Wood, C.L.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Landfield, P.W.;Stromberg, A.J. "Statistical implications of pooling RNA samples for microarray experiments." BMC bioinformatics 4, (2003): 26. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Norris, C.M.;Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Calcineurin enhances L-type Ca(2+) channel activity in hippocampal neurons: increased effect with age in culture." Neuroscience 110, 2 (2002): 213-25. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Chen, K.C.;Vanaman, T.C.;Landfield, P.W.;Slevin, J.T. "Epilepsy-induced decrease of L-type Ca2+ channel activity and coordinate regulation of subunit mRNA in single neurons of rat hippocampal 'zipper' slices." Epilepsy research 43, 3 (2001): 211-26. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Chen, K.C.;Blalock, E.M.;Thibault, O.;Kaminker, P.;Landfield, P.W. "Expression of alpha 1D subunit mRNA is correlated with L-type Ca2+ channel activity in single neurons of hippocampal "zipper" slices." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97, 8 (2000): 4357-62. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Blalock, E.M.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Decreased G-protein-mediated regulation and shift in calcium channel types with age in hippocampal cultures." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 19, 19 (1999): 8674-84. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Campbell, L.W.;Hao, S.Y.;Thibault, O.;Blalock, E.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Aging changes in voltage-gated calcium currents in hippocampal CA1 neurons." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 16, 19 (1996): 6286-95. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Furukawa, K.;Barger, S.W.;Blalock, E.M.;Mattson, M.P. "Activation of K+ channels and suppression of neuronal activity by secreted beta-amyloid-precursor protein." Nature 379, 6560 (1996): 74-8. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]
  • Thibault, O.;Mazzanti, M.L.;Blalock, E.M.;Porter, N.M.;Landfield, P.W. "Single-channel and whole-cell studies of calcium currents in young and aged rat hippocampal slice neurons." Journal of neuroscience methods 59, 1 (1995): 77-83. [PubMed Link] | [ Full text ]