Colm Cunningham’s research interest is in developing and studying animal models to understand the impact of systemic inflammation and/or altered body temperature on brain function and neurodegeneration. The main application thus far has been in studying sickness behavior, delirium and dementia, but systemic inflammation may positively or negatively impact many domains of brain function. Cunningham’s work has demonstrated that its impact depends on the basal state of the brain in question.
The complexity of inflammation-induced changes in brain function demands that multiple disciplines be brought together. Cunningham’s training has equipped him to sit at the interface of these disciplines, with significant expertise in neurochemistry (B.Sc. and Ph.D.), neuroinflammation and microglial function (postdoctoral studies), neuropathology (postdoctoral studies) and experimental psychology (fellowship). Throughout his career, Cunningham has collaborated with basic and clinical scientists to advance and validate his basic research findings in human subjects and has published widely in both scientific and clinical journals.