Michael Beattie, PhD

Core Member

The Beattie/Bresnahan laboratory at the Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC) at UCSF does basic and translational research aimed at enhancing the treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries. We study secondary neuronal and glial injury, inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as regeneration and repair, and the substrates for recovery of function after CNS injury. One goal is to continue to develop preclinical models for studying treatment strategies, including transplantation of stem and progenitor cells. Models available include, 1) thoracic contusion spinal cord injuries in rats and mice, 2) a unilateral cervical contusion lesion that is intended to differentiate between neuronal loss and white matter injury, 3) nanoinjection models for inducing inflammation and secondary injury in gray and white matter, and 4) hemisection and transection. The lab is also part of the California Primate Spinal Cord consortium, led by Mark Tuszynski at UCSD. The lab is supported by NIH to test transplantation strategies using glial-restricted precursor cells (GRPs) derived from embryonic rat spinal cords. We intend to use cells derived from hESCs in the very near future, and have received NIH supplemental funding for that project. We will also examine the role of activated microglia and the tissue microenvironment in the survival and fate of endogenous and transplanted stem/progenitor cells.