Neuroscientist and cell biologist Randy Stout, Ph.D., serves as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the NYITCOM Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI).
Stout became the Director of the NYITCOM Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI) on July 1, 2020, and played a critical role in the Center’s development and early planning. The CBI uses tools such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, 3-D technologies, and imaging to develop and apply original technologies for biomedical discovery, diagnostics, and treatment.
Prior to his appointment as CBI Director, Stout led the CBI's imaging, visualization, and modeling group, which focuses on imaging biological processes and systems by using 3-D technologies, virtual reality simulations, and modeling. In spring 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic posed shortages of ventilator equipment and personal protective equipment, Stout, along with fellow CBI faculty, staff, and NYITCOM students, collaborated with local healthcare facilities and small tech companies in Nevada and Vermont to aid local healthcare facilities by prototyping 3D printed design solutions for PPA and other COVID-19 related challenges.
Since 2018, Stout has organized the university's VR Interest Group, a monthly meeting where tech aficionados gather to explore and discuss VR, augmented reality, and related digital technologies. These meetings have fostered several completed and ongoing collaborative projects that bring together a New York Tech faculty, staff, and students from many departments and disciplines to build new VR and computation-focused research and educational technologies.
Stout’s research focuses on how brain cells interact, namely glial cells, which are the cells that make up much of the human brain cells and are required for brain homeostasis, metabolic and structural support of neurons, control of synapse function and strength (synapses are the connections between neurons) and regulate the movement of molecules into and out of the brain. His glia research centers on their connections called gap junctions, which act as complex molecular machines that establish sites of interaction between cells. They are critical to the development and function of tissues throughout the human body, with specialized roles in the brain. Understanding how these fascinating cellular connections contribute to symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder and recovery from brain injuries, such as those that occur in multiple sclerosis and trauma, is critical to improving human quality of life. Using high-resolution light microscopy to reveal how molecules, cells, and tissues work, his work often tests how proteins and other biological molecules come together to form supramolecular machines that control the function of cells and determine how tissues function in healthy and disease states. His research examines how substances such as thyroid hormone, cannabidiol, and other natural supplements, and understudied pharmaceuticals might affect the brain by way of gap junctions and glia.
Stout has continuing collaborations with colleagues at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., where he did his postdoctoral training and research. His interest in glia and gap junctions started early in his post-graduate training at the University of California, Riverside, and continued during his doctoral training at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (Ph.D., Neurobiology). His interest in cell biology and genetics developed during his undergraduate training (B.S., Biology at Cornell University).
He is a member of several national societies including the New York Academy of Sciences, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the American Society for Neurochemistry (for which he serves as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee).
- American Society for Neurochemistry Young Investigator’s Educational Enhancement travel award to attend and present at 2016 ASN Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
- 2016 Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Neuroscience Department Junior Neuroscience Investigator Research Award
- Invited Discussion Leader to the 2015 Gordon Research Seminar: Glial Biology: Functional Interactions Among Glia & Neurons, March 2015
- 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry Advanced School Travel award for "Neurochemistry of Glia-Neuron Interactions," April 16-20, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico.