Zena Vexler, Editorial Board Member
Professor in Neurology, University California San Francisco, USA
Find publications in PubMed
At UCSF I have served as the Director of Research, Neonatal Brain Disorders Center, since 2003. I have served on study sections at the NIH and chaired Brain 2 and Brain 3 Committees, the AHA. I have multi-disciplinary training in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and physiology and extensive expertise in stroke models.
For more than twenty years my research has been centred on the mechanisms of experimental stroke. I have contributed to the fields of cerebrovascular and cellular injury after experimental stroke first in the adult and, over more than fifteen years, in the neonate. I investigated relationships between severity of perfusion deficits and disturbances in brain homeostasis, ischemia-induced cell death, identification of intracellular mechanisms of post-ischemic neuronal death, and preclinical testing of several classes of pharmacologic agents, including small molecules, growth factors and mesenchymal stem cells. My lab was the first to establish model of neonatal focal stroke in rats and ours is the only laboratory that can produce focal arterial stroke in neonatal mice. With these age appropriate models, we discovered that blood-brain barrier function is strikingly more preserved after acute stroke in neonates than in adults. We also discovered that microglia serve as endogenous neuroprotectants in neonatal stroke.