Michelle H. Theus, PhD
NIH R01 Mechanisms Regulating Cerebral Arteriogenesis and NeurorestorationPromoting vascular remodeling has emerged as a potential therapeutic approach for neurorestorative therapy. Cerebral vascular trauma leads to inadequate cerebral blood flow which potentiates neuronal cell loss resulting in motor and cognitive deficits in models of brain injury. Endothelial cells lining the blood vessels actively respond to tissue trauma. Our novel findings demonstrate, cell-to-cell contact proteins called Eph receptor tyrosine kinases, and their ephrin ligand(s), are present on cerebral arteriole endothelial cells and play a central role in limiting arteriogenesis in the murine brain following injury.Grant duration: 4/2016 - 3/2021
2006PhD, NeuroPathology and Laboratory MedicineMedical University of South Carolina (MUSC)Charleston, SC
1999MT (ASCP) Board CertificationClinical Laboratory Scientist Training ProgramUniversity of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Research CenterHouston, TX
1998BS, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Cum Laude,Chemistry and Microbiology minorsUniversity of OhioAthens, OH
2000Histocompatibility Technical Specialist (ASHI)
1999Medical Technologist (MT) (ASCP)
1999Clinical Laboratory Scientist (National Crediting Agency)
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.
2018 – PresentAssociate Professor, NeuroscienceBiomedical Sciences & PathobiologyVirginia-Maryland College of Veterinary MedicineVirginia TechBlacksburg, VA
2012 – 2018Assistant Professor, NeuroscienceBiomedical Sciences & PathobiologyVirginia-Maryland College of Veterinary MedicineVirginia TechBlacksburg, VA
2006 – 2012Postdoctoral ScholarDepartment of NeurosurgeryThe Miami Project to Cure Spinal Cord ParalysisUniversity of MiamiMiami, FL
1999 – 2001Histocompatibility Technical Specialist, ASHI certifiedCleveland Clinic Organ Transplant CenterCleveland, OH
1998 – 1999Medical Technologist, Phlebotomist, ASCP certifiedM.D. Anderson Cancer Research CenterHouston, TX
- 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