Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology Faculty

Michelle H. Theus, PhD

Assistant Professor
Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
Stem Cell Initiative collaborator


  • 2006
    PhD, NeuroPathology and Laboratory Medicine
    Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
    Charleston, SC
  • 1999
    MT (ASCP) Board Certification
    Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program
    University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center
    Houston, TX
  • 1998
    BS, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Cum Laude,
    Chemistry and Microbiology minors
    University of Ohio
    Athens, OH

Board Certifications

  • 2000
    Histocompatibility Technical Specialist (ASHI)
  • 1999
    Medical Technologist (MT) (ASCP)
  • 1999
    Clinical Laboratory Scientist (National Crediting Agency)

Research Focus

click for larger image

Recent scientific discoveries have placed stem cell therapy in the spotlight for tissue repair and have raised enthusiasm amongst regenerative medicine scientists. The concept of "self-healing" using the patient's own nature stem cells is an exciting part of translational research since these cells represent a local source for cellular replacement.

The goal of my research is to understand how these innate stem cells contribute to adult central nervous system (CNS) repair following traumatic injury, an area that has very limited regenerative potential. Using a gene-targeted approach, we have identified a novel family of inhibitory proteins called Eph receptors that restrict the growth potential of adult-derived stem cells. Moreover, we hypothesize that the presence of these inhibitory molecules on circulating stem cells may limit the remodeling of the vascular network after CNS damage. Because the extent of acute cell loss and long-term functional recovery is often dictated by local blood supply, vascular repair represents an important primary target for stem cell therapy. To that end, we are currently investigating the effects of blocking Eph receptors, using innovative gene-targeted and systems approaches in combination with vessel painting, on promoting revascularization after CNS injury. These investigations overall are aimed at identifying effective, safe and feasible drug targets that promote stem cell therapy for clinical applications in CNS disorders such as ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injuries.


View publications on Michelle Theus' PubMed profile.

Professional Experience

  • 2012 – Present
    Assistant Professor, Neuroscience
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 2006 – 2012
    Postdoctoral Scholar
    Department of Neurosurgery
    The Miami Project to Cure Spinal Cord Paralysis
    University of Miami
    Miami, FL
  • 1999 – 2001
    Histocompatibility Technical Specialist, ASHI certified
    Cleveland Clinic Organ Transplant Center
    Cleveland, OH
  • 1998 – 1999
    Medical Technologist, Phlebotomist, ASCP certified
    M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center
    Houston, TX

Professional Memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science
  • American Society of Clinical Pathologists