Research Summary: A pathological hallmark of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of multiple sclerosis (MS), is the presence of myeloid cell infiltrates at demyelinated lesion sites within the spinal cord. Under homeostatic conditions, the blood-brain barrier (BB) impedes the entry of most blood-borne complex molecules and cells into the central nervous system (CNS) and previous work by others and us has demonstrated that the blood myelomonocytic cells that accumulate within the CNS drive EAE progression. My research aims to characterize the phenotype of infiltrating myeloid cells over the development and progression of EAE and to compare/contrast the activation pattern of these cells to that of microglia, the CNS-resident myeloid cell population. Another facet of my research focuses on describing the changes that occur to the BBB following the induction of EAE and how these changes affect blood myelomonocytic cell infiltration into the CNS.
Personal Summary: I completed my PhD at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology where I investigated the potential of bone marrow-derived cells to function as treatment vehicles for neurodegenerative disease.