March 16: Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium, Dr. Philip Popovich

Published: February 13th, 2018

Category: Uncategorized

PopovichPhillipGeneral Research: The Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair lab is an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to studying the complexities of CNS injury, inflammation and tissue repair. They are currently funded by the NIH to explore the consequences of resident (e.g., microglia) and recruited inflammatory cell (e.g., macrophages, T-lymphocytes) activation on axonal injury, demyelination and neurological function in models of rat and mouse SCI. Inflammation is an inevitable consequence of tissue damage and is necessary for efficient cell repair. However, acute inflammation also causes “collateral” damage to tissues before repair processes are initiated. In the spinal cord, where most cells are post-mitotic and exhibit poor regenerative/repair potential, inflammation can have devastating consequences. Theyare striving to develop novel therapies that will manipulate or over-ride normal immune function.

Research Interests:

  • Neuroimmunology of spinal cord injury
  • Immunological influences on neuronal degeneration and regeneration
  • Neuroendocrine influences (e.g., stress/HPA axis activation) on inflammatory mediated injury/repair of the CNS

Research Techniques: Spinal cord injury modeling, immunohistochemistry and state-of-the-art microscopy (light/fluorescence/dark-field/confocal) and image analysis (with stereology), laser-capture micro-dissection, behavioral analysis of locomotor and sensory function, neuroanatomical tract tracing, cell culture (neuronal/glial/macrophage/lymphocyte), FACS analysis, targeted leukocyte depletion, in situ hybridization, animal models of CNS autoimmune disease (e.g. EAE), lymphocyte phenotype and functional assays, basic molecular biology (e.g., PCR). They also have ongoing collaborations using customized DNA microarray technology.

Backdrop: Immunofluorescent double-labeling of microglia/macrophages after spinal cord injury. Double-labeled cells (green cytoplasm/orange membrane) express a molecule (CD8) that may be involved in macrophage-mediated neurotoxicity.

PhD: The Ohio State University

Editorial Activities:

present – Journal of Neurodegeneration and Regeneration
present – BMC Neurology
present – Inflammation & Allergy – Drug Targets
present – Experimental Neurology
present – Neuroimmune Pharmacology


1993 – 1995 NINDS Neural Development, Plasticity, and Regeneration Training Grant
1995 – 1997 Special Medical Research Fellowship. The Sandoz Corporation
1997 Michael E. Goldberger Award for Research in Neural Regeneration and Functional Recovery
2000 Invited Speaker NINDS Workshop Safety of Electrical Stimulation in the CNS
2000 Invited Speaker NIH Workshop Role of the Immune System in Spinal Cord Injuries
2003 Excellence in Teaching Award
2004 Member. Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters (CNNT) Study Section, NIH-NINDS
2006 Ray W. Poppleton Research Chair.
2006 – 2007 Vice President

Professional Activities:

2009-present  International Symposium on Neural Regeneration Research. Pacific Grove, CA.
2009-present  2nd Joint Symposium of the National and International Neurotrauma Societies. Santa Barbara, CA.
2009-present  Society for Neuroscience. Chicago, IL.
2010-present  Canadian SCI Research Symposium