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Yuko Hara

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  • Ellison Medical Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)


    I obtained my Ph.D. in Neurology and Neuroscience at the Weill Cornell Graduate School, NY, NY. As a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. John Morrison's laboratory, I examined the synaptic and molecular signatures of aging and recognition memory decline in the hippocampus of cognitively-assessed animals.


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We are interested in identifying the neurobiological basis of age- and menopause-related cognitive decline. We utilize electron microscopic techniques to examine synaptic and mitochondrial ultrastructure as well as molecular profiles in key brain areas mediating cognitive functions. We are also interested in the effects of estrogen on the brain and the ways in which it can restore cognitive and synaptic functions in aged menopausal animals. Results from our research have important implications for treating age- and menopause-related cognitive symptoms in humans.


Hara Y, Yuk F, Puri R, Janssen WG, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Presynaptic mitochondrial morphology in monkey prefrontal cortex correlates with working memory and is improved with estrogen treatment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2014 Jan; 111(1).

Bloss EB, Puri R, Yuk F, Punsoni M, Hara Y, Janssen WG, McEwen BS, Morrison JH. Morphological and molecular changes in aging rat prelimbic prefrontal cortical synapses. Neurobiology of aging 2013 Jan; 34(1).

Dumitriu D, Berger SI, Hamo C, Hara Y, Bailey M, Hamo A, Grossman YS, Janssen WG, Morrison JH. Vamping: stereology-based automated quantification of fluorescent puncta size and density. Journal of neuroscience methods 2012 Jul; 209(1).

Hara Y, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Neuronal and morphological bases of cognitive decline in aged rhesus monkeys. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands) 2012 Oct; 34(5).

Hara Y, Punsoni M, Yuk F, Park CS, Janssen WG, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Synaptic distributions of GluA2 and PKMĪ¶ in the monkey dentate gyrus and their relationships with aging and memory. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2012 May; 32(21).

Hara Y, Park CS, Janssen WG, Roberts MT, Morrison JH, Rapp PR. Synaptic correlates of memory and menopause in the hippocampal dentate gyrus in rhesus monkeys. Neurobiology of aging 2012 Feb; 33(2).

Bailey ME, Wang AC, Hao J, Janssen WG, Hara Y, Dumitriu D, Hof PR, Morrison JH. Interactive effects of age and estrogen on cortical neurons: implications for cognitive aging. Neuroscience 2011 Sep; 191.

Hara Y, Park CS, Janssen WG, Punsoni M, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Synaptic characteristics of dentate gyrus axonal boutons and their relationships with aging, menopause, and memory in female rhesus monkeys. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2011 May; 31(21).

Wang AC, Hara Y, Janssen WG, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Synaptic estrogen receptor-alpha levels in prefrontal cortex in female rhesus monkeys and their correlation with cognitive performance. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2010 Sep; 30(38).

Dumitriu D, Hao J, Hara Y, Kaufmann J, Janssen WG, Lou W, Rapp PR, Morrison JH. Selective changes in thin spine density and morphology in monkey prefrontal cortex correlate with aging-related cognitive impairment. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 2010 Jun; 30(22).

Industry Relationships

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Dr. Hara did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2014 and/or 2015: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

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