JN-RM-3111-09R2.jpg (31

Research Program


Outline of  Karimi research program:

 Karimi's laboratory offers training opportunities in neurosciences and stem cell research for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as well as undergraduate and medical students. Our program is nationally and internationally recognized for its contribution to neural repair and regeneration after injuries to the central nervous system with special interest in spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis (MS). We are particularly recognized for our neural stem cell-based and pharmacological therapeutic approaches in preclinical models of SCI and MS. We combine preclinical studies, with various transgenic mouse models and primary in vitro systems to uncover cellular and molecular mechanisms of repair and regeneration after SCI and MS. We specifically focus on developing repair strategies to optimize the innate capacity of endogenous and transplanted neural stem cells for cell replacement, neuroprotection, remyelination and regeneration. Other major focus in our program has been on neuroinflammation, glial cell, matrix remodeling and cell death.

In our laboratory, we employ an array of advanced approaches in neuroscience and stem cell research that include in vivo spinal cord injury and micro-surgical techniques, cell transplantation, transgenic models, neural stem cell/neural tissue culture, pharmacological drug delivery, cellular, biochemical and molecular techniques, genetic manipulations, cell tracing,  fluorescence/confocal imaging, bioengineering approaches, live animal imaging and functional/neurological studies.

Our research has high translational implications in the fields of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and regenerative medicin
e, and has already helped in establishment of neural stem cells therapies for spinal cord injury. 


Areas of research interests:
  • Neural repair and regeneration
  • Spinal cord injury and Multiple sclerosis
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Neural stem cell biology
  • Myelin repair
  • Preclinical therapeutic interventions in spinal cord injury
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Oligodendrocytes differentiation and remyelination
  • Reactive astrogliosis and matrix remodeling
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Mechanisms of spinal cord gliogenesis
  • Improving neurological recovery
  • Stem cell/neural culture studies
  • Neuroanatomical and imaging techniques
  • Genetic approaches in neural systemsNestin

Current projects:

 - Uncovering the endogenous cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural stem cells differentiation in spinal cord injury and MS

- Neural stem cell transplantation in spinal cord injury

- Investigating the modulatory roles of reactive astrocytes, microglia and matrix remodeling in spinal cord injury and MS

- Development of combinatorial stem cell and pharmacological therapies for enhancing neuronal and oligodendrocytes replacement following  spinal cord injury and MS

 - Uncovering immune mechanisms and developing immunomodulatory therapies in spinal cord injury and MS 

-  Developing bioengineering approaches for stem cell and drug delivery in CNS injuries

JNS cover 2006JNS Cover 2010