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Nader Ghasemlou PhD

Research Fellow

I received my B.Sc. (Hon.) and M.Sc. from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario where I studied neurotrophin-mediated sympathosensory sprouting with Dr. Michael Kawaja. I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Samuel David at McGill University where I obtained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. As part of my doctoral thesis, I studied the role of cytokines/chemokines and leukocytes in the injured spinal cord. This work led to the identification of several new candidates for the treatment of spinal cord injury, including secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor and downstream targets of the MAP kinase pathway. I joined Dr. Clifford Woolf’s group in the fall of 2008 as a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Research Interests
My current research interests are focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory pain. My work aims to identify and characterize new targets for analgesics using microarray and multiplex analysis of the inflammatory response in the CNS and the periphery. I am focusing primarily on the direct and indirect effects of chemokines and cytokines on primary sensory neurons, microglia/macrophages and astroglia, and am working to identify how they contribute to the inflammatory pain response. In collaboration with Drs. Christian von Hehn and Christian Brenneis, I am studying the role of inflammatory chemokines/cytokines on sensory neuron excitability using whole-cell and patch-clamp recording as well as calcium and sodium imaging techniques. We are also studying the effects of immune activation on macrophages isolated from the periphery and the CNS after inflammatory injury. The analysis of microarrays, in conjunction with Dr. Michael Costigan, to determine new pathways and specific targets of interest in several varying pain phenotypes is also underway with emphasis placed on changes occurring in the early phase of injury and disease in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Work with Dr. Joachim Scholz is also underway to identify the mechanisms of microglial activation following peripheral nerve injury.

Selected Publications
López-Vales R, Redensek A, Skinner TA, Rathore KI, Ghasemlou N, Wojewodka G, DeSanctis J, Radzioch D, David S. (2010) Fenretinide promotes functional recovery and tissue protection after spinal cord contusion injury. J Neurosci 30:3220-3226.

Ghasemlou N, Bouhy D, Yang J, López-Vales R, Haber M, Thuraisingam T, He G, Radzioch D, Ding A, David S. (2009) Beneficial effects of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor after spinal cord injury. Brain 133:126-138.

Ghasemlou N, Jeong SY, Lacroix S, and David S. (2007) T cells contribute to lysophosphatidylcholine-induced macrophage activation and demyelination in the CNS. GLIA 55:294-302.

Ghasemlou N, Kerr BJ, David S. (2005) Tissue displacement and impact force are important contributors to outcome after spinal cord contusion injury. Exp Neurol 196:9-17.

Ghasemlou N, Krol KM, Macdonald DR, Kawaja MD. (2004) Comparison of target innervation by sympathetic axons in adult wild type and heterozygous mice for nerve growth factor or its receptor trkA. J Pineal Res 37:230-240.

Selected Presentations
Ghasemlou N, Lopez-Vales R, Lachance C, Thuraisingam T, Radzioch D, Gaestel M, David S. (2008) MAPK activated protein kinase 2 (MK2) controls inflammation and secondary damage after spinal cord contusion injury. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

Ghasemlou N, David S. (2007) Genotypic characterization of macrophages in the injured and demyelinating CNS. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.

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