Barbara Strupp received her Bachelor's degree in Ethology from Washington University in 1976, and her Ph.D. degree in Psychology in 1982 from Cornell University. She conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health (Biological Psychiatry Branch, NIMH) from 1981-1983. She then returned to Cornell University in 1983, funded by a National Institutes of Health New Investigator Research Award. She currently serves as Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology. Professor Strupp is a member of the Graduate Fields of Nutrition, Psychology, and Environmental Toxicology and the Program in Neuroscience. Her research group has been funded by three institutes at the NIH (NICHD, NIDA, and NIMH). These grants have supported research on numerous causes of human cognitive dysfunction (malnutrition, PKU, early lead exposure, prenatal cocaine exposure, Down syndrome, and Fragile X syndrome), as well as the development of novel techniques for detecting and delineating cognitive and affective dysfunction in rodent models.
Strupp’s research primarily deals with causes of human cognitive dysfunction, studies that involve both children and rodent models. The goals of the animal studies are to determine the nature and underlying neural basis of the cognitive dysfunction, with implications for therapeutic intervention and for elucidating basic brain-cognition relationships. Current projects (described below) focus on (1) the lasting effects of maternal choline supplementation in rodent models (including a murine model of Down syndrome) and humans, and (2) the lasting effects of developmental exposure to manganese.
Current Professional Activities:
Cornell University Graduate Field Membership: Psychology; Nutrition; Environmental Toxicology
Editorial Board, Neurotoxicology and Teratology
External Advisory Committee, NIH Program Project grant concerning the Cognitive and Neural Effects of Early Developmental Iron Deficiency; Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, B. Lozoff, PI, 2003-present.
National Institutes of Health, Developmental Brian Disorders (DBD) study section, Temporary Member, October 25-26, 2012;
Current Research Activities:
1. Perinatal choline supplementation research: We have recently found that supplementing the maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation significantly improves attention and emotion regulation in a mouse model of Down syndrome. A more circumscribed improvement in attention was also seen in the Wildtype littermates. I am currently involved in a collaborative study with investigators at Rush University Medical Center and NYU to determine whether spatial cognition is also improved in the trisomic mice by maternal choline supplementation and elucidate the neural mechanism(s) that underlies these lasting cognitive benefits. We have found that MCS does improve spatial cognition in the Ts65Dn mice and that this benefit seems to reflect, in part, protection of cholinergic basal forebrain neurons, which atrophy in these mice with the onset of Alzheimer-like neuropathology. We have also found that MCS increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the Ts65Dn mice, and that this correlates with the improved spatial cognition of these mice. Furthermore we have found evidence for improved neurotrophin function in these trisomic mice, which may contribute to the protection of CBF neurons in these mice, and subsequently their improved cognitive functioning. The results of these studies will have implications for minimizing cognitive and affective function in individuals who have Down syndrome as well as provide new information concerning the mechanism by which perinatal choline supplementation exerts lifelong benefits on cognitive functioning in normal rodents. These findings will have important clinical implications for identifying the choline intake during pregnancy and lactation that is optimal for cognitive functioning throughout the lifespan. These collaborative studies linking behavioral and neural changes are in progress.
2. In addition, in collaboration with two DNS colleagues, (Drs. Caudill and Canfield), I am also planning a parallel study involving choline supplementation of pregnant women, followed by assessment of cognitive and affective benefits in the infants, and epigenetic analyses of placental tissue.
3. In collaboration with Dr. Paul Soloway, I am planning to investigate whether the lasting cognitive benefits of maternal choline supplementation in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome and normal littermates are mediated by epigenetic effects due to choline's role as a methyl donor. These studies will also help ascertain possible adverse effects of MCS on other systems.
4. I am collaborating on a project with collaborators at UC Santa Cruz and the University of Illinois to investigate the lasting cognitive and neural effects of early developmental exposure to Manganese. We have found evidence for attentional dysfunction in the rats exposed early in life, and are currently evaluating neural mechanisms.
Washington University, B.A. (Ethology), 1976
Cornell University, Ph.D. (Biopsychology), 1982
National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Mental Health) Postdoctoral Fellow, 1981-1983
Stangle, DE., Strawderman M, Smith D., Kuypers M, & Strupp BJ. Repeated regimens of Succimer show different treatment efficacy in brain versus blood in a rodent model of childhood lead exposure, Environmental Health Perspectives, 112:302-308, 2004 (online, Oct. 31, 2003).
Moon J, Ota KT, Driscoll LL, Levitsky DA, Strupp BJ (2008). A mouse model of Fragile X syndrome exhibits heightened arousal and/or emotion following errors or reversal of contingencies. Developmental Psychobiology, 2008 Jul;50(5):473-85.
Bushnell PJ, Strupp BJ. Assessing Attention in Rodents. In:Methods of behavioral analysis in neuroscience (2nd ed.). Buccafusco, Jerry J. (Ed.); Boca Raton, FL, US: CRC Press, 2009. pp. 119-143.
Moon J., Chen M, Gandhy SU, StrawdermanM, Levitsky DA, Maclean KN, and Strupp BJ.Perinatal choline supplementation improves cognitive functioning and emotion regulation in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. Behavioral Neuroscience, 2010, 124 (3):346–361.
Beaudin SA, Gendle MH, Strupp BJ. Lasting attentional and affective dysfunction produced by prenatal cocaine exposure in a rodent model: Gender effects. Chapter 4 in: Gender Differences in Effects of Prenatal Substance Exposure", Lisa Kestler and Michael Lewis (Eds), Washington, D.C., American Psychological Association, 2011.
Field MS, Shields KS, Abarinov EV, Malysheva OV, Allen RH, Stabler SP, Ash JA, Strupp BJ, Stover PJ, and Caudill MA. ReducedMTHFD1 activity in mice perturbs folate and choline dependent one-carbon metabolism as well as transsulfuration. J. Nutrition, 2013 Jan;143(1):41-5. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.169821. Epub 2012 Nov 28.
Searchable Keywords: Down syndrome lead exposure chelation therapy Fragile X syndrome folate prenatal cocaine exposure behavioral neuroscience cognitive neuroscience nutrition and behavior choline supplementation
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.