Dr. Yepes' research focuses on the study of the effects of cerebral ischemia on synaptic morphology and function. A major goal of his work is to understand the role that the plasminogen activation system plays in this process. Using a combination of proteomics, systems biology, in vivo models of cerebral ischemia in rodents and non-human primates, and state-of-the art neuroradiological techniques, his laboratory has demonstrated that two components of the plasminogen activation system, tissue-type plasminogen activator and urokinase-type plasminogen activator, are released in the synaptic cleft in response to neuronal depolarization where they activate specific biochemical pathways that promote the detection and adaptation to metabolic stress, and the recovery of synaptic function following an ischemic injury. This has led Dr. Yepes' laboratory to propose a model of cerebral ischemia as a synaptic disease and to develop the concept of "synaptic protection" as a mechanism to prevent neurological deterioration and promote functional recovery after an ischemic stroke. The main goal of Dr. Yepes' laboratory is to develop a therapeutic tool to protect the synapse and promote its recovery in patients suffering from cerebral ischemia.