Hartman Behavioral Neuroscience Lab


Rich E. Hartman

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

School of Behavioral Health

Loma Linda University


ReseacherID / ResearchGate / Google Scholar / CV

I am an associate professor of experimental psychology and direct the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab at Loma Linda University in southern California. I graduated from Missouri State University in 1993 with a BS in experimental psychology. I then enrolled in the Behavior, Brain & Cognition program at Washington University in St. Louis, where I studied rodent behavior and neurodegeneration under behavioral expert Dave Wozniak in John Olney's lab. During this time, I helped Dave set up Washington University's Animal Behavior Core facility. I defended my PhD dissertation on September 11, 2001, and then trained for 4 years as a postdoc in the lab of Alzheimer's disease guru Dave Holtzman. While in the Holtzman lab, I worked with a number of transgenic and knockout mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and learned biochemical/histological techniques for assessing biomarkers of neuropathology.

I have been publishing papers characterizing rodent behavioral phenotypes since 2001. My first paper characterizing neuropathology following brain injury used a mouse model of traumatic brain injury. Since then, I have published papers characterizing brain injury resulting from early drug exposure, global ischemia, intracerebral hemorrhage, and impact trauma, as well as characterizing a number of transgenic mouse lines and neuroprotective strategies.

Our behavioral neuroscience lab at Loma Linda University in southern California primarily uses animal models of neurological disease to understand their mechanisms and potential therapeutic treatments. Techniques used include behavioral assessment (e.g., water maze) of rats and genetically modified (transgenic / knockout) mice, pharmacology (e.g., manipulation of behavior with various drugs), small animal surgery (e.g., intracardial perfusion, induction of ischemic stroke and/or traumatic brain injury), histology / immunohistochemistry (e.g., visualization of neurons and  Alzheimer’s-like amyloid plaques in brain slices), stereological microscopy (unbiased quantification of brain structures under a microscope), and biochemistry (e.g., protein assays of brain tissue using Western blot and ELISA). Collaborators at Loma Linda University include John Zhang, Jiping Tang, Robert Ostrowski, Andy Obenaus, Jerome Badaut, Denise Bellinger, Larry Longo, and Steve Ashwal.

Lab Theses / Dissertations

  1. John Bellone master’s thesis (December 2013) - Effects of proton radiation on behavior in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

  2. Earl Thorndyke master’s thesis (June 2013) - A meta-analysis of rodent behavior in various brain injury and disease models

  3. Melissa Dulcich doctoral dissertation (May 2013) - Pomegranate supplementation improves affective and motor behavior in mice after radiation exposure

  4. Joel Kamper master’s thesis (November 2011) - The long-term effects of juvenile TBI on behavior in mice

  5. Nikita Mistry master’s thesis (in progress) - The neuroprotective effects of a grape-enriched diet in mice with Alzheimer’s disease pathology and traumatic brain injury

  6. Michael Finlay master’s thesis (in progress) - Behaviorally-induced structural remodeling of the hippocampus

  7. Pam Lorenzo master’s thesis (in progress) - Swim strategies in the water maze in C57/B16 mice exposed to radiation and pomegranate juice

  8. Courtney Ray master’s thesis (in progress) - Analysis and mapping of water maze search strategies in Cobalt-60 irradiated rats

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