The Rhodes' Laboratory

 The Rhodes' lab is supported by two federally funded grants through National Institutes of Health and a grant funding the Mouse Cognition Core Facility acquired from the Center for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory. Located in the Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology, the lab consists of 4 postdoctoral research fellows, 3 graduate students, 1 research coordinator, 2 research technicians, and several undergraduates. The atmosphere is friendly and supportive and devoted to training the next generation of neuroscientists and geneticists.




The 21st Show


Scientific Reports

Prog. Molecular Bio.

& Translational Science

...And Why People Run Marathons


"Tomorrow, thousands of runners will line up in Springfield to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles and throughout the state they’ll keep doing so throughout the month. To many of us even 6 miles seems crazy, so why do people run? We talked with Justin Rhodes, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois who studies why animals, humans included, run."

- The 21st Show


(Interview starts ~35 minute mark.)


Click on the image to listen to the recorded radio program.

Rendeiro et al., 2015


Recent evidence suggests that fructose consumption is associated with weight gain, fat deposition and impaired cognitive function. However it is unclear whether the detrimental effects are caused by fructose itself or by the concurrent increase in overall energy intake. In the present study we examine the impact of a fructose diet relative to an isocaloric glucose diet in the absence of overfeeding, using a mouse model that mimics fructose intake in the top percentile of the USA population (18% energy).



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Hamilton and Rhodes, 2015


Regular exercise broadly enhances physical and mental health throughout the lifespan. Animal models have provided us with the tools to gain a better understanding of the underlying biochemical, physiological, and morphological mechanisms through which exercise exerts its beneficial cognitive effects. One brain region in particular, the hippocampus, is especially responsive to exercise. It is critically involved in learning and memory and is one of two regions in the mammalian brain that continues to generate new neurons throughout life. Exercise prevents the decline of the hippocampus from aging and ameliorates many neurodegenerative diseases, in part by increasing adult hippocampal neurogenesis but also by activating a multitude of molecular mechanisms that promote brain health. In this chapter, we first describe some rodent models used to study effects of exercise on the brain. Then we review the rodent work focusing on the mechanisms behind which exercise improves cognition and brain health in both the normal and the diseased brain, with emphasis on the hippocampus.


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For any hard-working, enthusiastic undergraduates that are interested in being part of the lab, please follow the link below for more information.


We currently do not have any graduate research assistant or postdoctoral fellowships available at the moment.


Joining Rhodes Lab

  • Congratulations to Dr. Gillian Hamilton for being awarded the NIH NRSA Postdoctoral F32 grant.
  • Congratulations to Pul Park, who will be starting the MD/PhD program at Rutgers University.
  • Congratulations to Pul Park, who will be starting the MD/PhD program at Rutgers University.
  • Congratulations to Kristy Du for winning a poster competition at the Division of Nutrtion's Annual Nutrition Symposium.
  • Congrats to Ross DeAngelis on getting his paper published in Copeia.

Last Modified: June 24, 2016

Designed and curated by T.K. Bhattacharya and Petra Majdak

The Rhodes' Laboratory