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After spinal cord injury (SCI), a break in neural-immune homeostasis slows healing and causes damage, both in the injured spinal cord and in tissues found throughout the body. These complications impair neurological recovery and also increase morbidity and mortality. Discovery themes in the Popovich lab seek to overcome these adverse effects of aberrant neuro-immune crosstalk caused by SCI. Select publications from these research themes are below. 


Theme 1: What causes myeloid cells to both help and harm the injured spinal cord?

Theme 2: Why does SCI cause pathology in organs found throughout the body?

Sub-theme 1: Understanding spinal autonomic circuit plasticity after SCI

Sub-theme 2: SCI-induced suppression of systemic and tissue-specific immunity


Sub-theme 3: SCI effects on the gut microbiota


Check out the full list of Popovich Lab research publications here!

Current Poppers

Lori Hudson, Lab manager

Krissy Kigerl, Research Scientist

Jodie Hall, Research Scientist

Zhen Guan, Technician

Ajay Medipally, Technician

Wenmin Lai, Technician

Katherine Mifflin, Post-doc

Elham AsghariAdib, Post-doc

Kyleigh Rodgers, MD.PhD student

Madeline Howarth, MD.PhD student

Ashley Cyr, BSc. student

Weston Misel, BSc. student

Popovich Lab PhD and Post-doc Alum

  • Faith Brennan, Research Scientist, PhD - currently Assistant Professor at Queen's University, Canada

  • Kathryn Madalena, PhD - currently Assistant Scientific Director at ProEd Regulatory

  • Pilar Manrique, PhD - currently Research Scientist at MicroViable Therapeutics, Spain

  • Yonaida Valentine, PhD student

  • Manoj Gottipati, PhD - currently Senior Scientist at Convelo Therapeutics, Cleveland

  • Ben Noble, PhD - currently Medical Science Liaison, AbbVie

  • Jessica Marbourg, PhD - currently Senior Scientist, AbbVie

  • Randall Carpenter, PhD - currently post-doc at Einstein College of Medicine, New York

  • Yan Wang, PhD - currently Senior Research Associate, Dept of Neurology, Ohio State University

  • Camila Marques de Freria, PhD - currently Assistant Project Scientist, University of California San Diego

  • Andrew Gaudet, PhD - currently Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin

  • Shweta Mandrekar, PhD - currently Medical Science Liaison, Phathom Pharmaceuticals, OH.

  • Denise Puga, PhD - currently Human Research Protection Program Coordinator, Texas A&M University

  • Yi Zhang, PhD - currently staff scientist, FDA

  • John Gensel, PhD - currently Associate Professor, University of Kentucky

  • Alicia Hawthorne, PhD - currently Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida

  • Jessica Alexander, PhD - currently Global Medical Director, Neurology at Jazz Pharmaceuticals

  • Satoshi Nakamura, MD - currently Dept. of Neurosurgery Chair, Isehara Kyodo Hospital, Japan

  • Daniel Ankeny, PhD - Anesthesiologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, MA

  • Kurt Lucin, PhD - currently Assistant Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University

  • Erin McDaniel, MD, PhD - Assistant Professor of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, CT

  • T Bucky Jones, PhD - currently Associate Prof, Midwestern University, AZ

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PRV-labeled sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the injured thoracic spinal cord

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Microglia and astrocytes surrounding a blood vessel after immune challenge


SNS innervation of the spleen

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Gut-CNS axis after SCI

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Dorsal root ganglion spot assay for axon growth

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Dying neuronal cells and axons (red, green) surrounded by astrocytes (blue)

Popovich Lab Research    

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