Loyola University Maryland

Department of Biology

Dr. Craig Myrum

Assistant Professor

Contactcraig myrum

Department of Biology
Loyola University Maryland
4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210-2699
Office: DS 242
Office tel: 410-617-5244
Fax: 410-617-5682
cmyrum@loyola.edu

Area of Interest

Neurobiology

Older age is accompanied by varying degrees of memory loss that can threaten independent living, quality of life, and identity. A better understanding of the neurobiological basis of age-related cognitive decline is therefore crucial for early detection, treatment, and slowing progression of memory loss, as well as age-related neurodegenerative disorders. As in older humans, several animal species similarly display a wide range of memory capacity in older age, including rats. These animal models offer researchers the ability to characterize the neurobiological substrates that lead to either good or bad cognitive outcomes in aging.

One of my long-standing interests has been centered on Arc—a gene that is essential for long-term memory formation. I have taken a multi-disciplined approach to better understand Arc function—from examining Arc genetic variation and transcription/translation regulation to identifying novel protein-protein interactions and characterizing the basic structural properties of the Arc protein. Given Arc’s importance for long-term memory formation, we hypothesized that it may be coupled to memory performance in older age. Indeed, some of my work has shown that Arc may contribute to cognitive outcome in aging.

Advanced aged is also often accompanied by diminished sleep quality and quantity. Evidence suggests that sleep duration and architecture, even earlier in life, can influence cognitive capacity later in life, and can increase the risk of developing dementia. However, very little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie this relationship. Our lab is interested in identifying animal models that help us to better understand the intersection of memory, aging, and sleep, and moreover, to capitalize on those models to begin unravelling the cellular and molecular underpinnings of that relationship.

Selected Publications

Myrum, C., Moreno-Castilla, P., Rapp, P.R.R. Arc-hitecture of normal cognitive aging. Ageing Research Reviews, 101678. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2022.101678

Myrum, C., Kittleson, J., Fletcher, B., Di., S., Becker, K., Rapp, P.R.R. 2020. Survey of the Arc epigenetic landscape in Normal Cognitive Aging. Molec. Neurobiol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-01915-4

Rapp, P.R.R., Bañuelos, C., Myrum, C. 2020. Neuroadaptive Trajectories of Healthy Mindspan: from Genes to Neural Networks. Handbook of Cognitive Aging. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108552684

Myrum, C., Rossi, S.L., Perez, E.J., Rapp, P.R., 2019. Cortical network dynamics are coupled with cognitive aging in rats. Hippocampus. 29:12, 1165–1177. https://doi.org/10.1002/hipo.23130

Myrum, C., Baumann, A., Bustad, H.J., Flydal, M.I., Mariaule, V., Alvira, S., Cuéllar, J., Haavik, J., Soulé, J., Valpuesta, J.M., Márquez, J.A., Martinez, A., Bramham, C.R., 2015. Arc is a flexible modular protein capable of reversible self-oligomerization. Biochem. J. 468 (1), 145–158. https://doi.org/10.1042/BJ20141446

Soulé, J., Alme, M., Myrum, C., Schubert, M., Kanhema, T., Bramham, C.R., 2012. Balancing Arc Synthesis, mRNA Decay, and Proteasomal Degradation. J. Biol. Chem. 287, 22354–22366. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.376491

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Biochemistry, Philosophy
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Course Snapshot

Exploring Biology 310: Botany

Students in this biology class get hands-on experience with plant propagation, testing disease-fighting properties, and examining nutrient composition.