Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research

PopovichPhillipDirector of the Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair
Professor, Department of Neuroscience

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460 W 12th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 688-8576

Research Lab: Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair

General Research: My laboratory is an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to studying the complexities of CNS injury, inflammation and tissue repair. We 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. We are 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). We 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.


1992 M.S., The Ohio State University
1995 Ph.D., 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  meeting. 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

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