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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Dr. Theo Hagg
Hagg lab pic                                       


Contact Information:

Theo Hagg, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Stanton-Gerber Building 178 
PO Box 70582
Room B-206
Phone:  423-439-6294

Laboratory Personnel:

Matt P. Keasey, PhD, Research Assistant Professor
Chiharu Lovins, MSc, Director of Research
Hannah M. Malone, BSc, Technician
Richard Sante, MSc, Graduate Student (rotation)
Lylyan F. Pimentel, BSc, visiting Graduate Student
Joe Oliver, Undergraduate Student
Cuihong Jia, PhD, Assistant Professor

We are always looking for excellent people.
Come join us!

Research Interests: 


       The Hagg lab investigates how novel neurotrophic mechanisms and endogenous stem cells might be used to develop CNS repair strategies. We are currently investigating how small molecules that activate neuroprotective mechanisms might be used to reduce axon and myelin loss after a contusive spinal cord injury. We currently investigate how endothelial and microvascular mechanisms could be utilized to reduce degeneration after such injuries. Lastly, we are identifying molecular regulators of endogenous neural precursors in adult rodents which can be targeted for enhancing neurogenesis and redirect neuroblast migration towards stroke injuries. The long term goal of these studies is to provide information that would lead to better treatment strategies for a variety of human neurological disorders, including spinal cord injury and stroke. Techniques used routinely include various refined microsurgical procedures in the brain and spinal cord of adult rats and mice, pharmacological treatments, regular and confocal immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and real-time PCR.

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Research Support:

NIH R01AG029493  "Targeting CNTF to increase adult forebrain neurogenesis"

Selected Publications:

Banerjee K, Keasey MP, Razskazovskiy V, Visavadiya NP, Jia C, Hagg T (2017) Reduced FAK-STAT3 signaling contributes to ER stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and death in endothelial cells. Cellular Signaling 36:154-162. PMID 28495589, PMC5589129.

Visavadiya NP, Keasey MP, Razskazovskiy V, Banerjee K, Jia C, Lovins C, Wright GL, Hagg T. (2016) Integrin-FAK signaling rapidly and potently promotes mitochondrial function through STAT3. Cell Communication and Signaling. 14(1):32. PMID 27978828, PMC5159999.

Keasey MP, Lemos RR, Hagg T, Oliveira JRM (2016) Vitamin-D receptor agonist calcitriol reduces calcification in vitro through selective upregulation of SLC20A2 but not SLC20A1 or XPR1. Scientific Reports 6:25802 PMID 27184385; PMC4868979

Ewan EE, Hagg T. (2016) Intrathecal Acetyl-l-Carnitine Protects Tissue and Improves Function after a Mild Contusive Spinal Cord Injury in Rats. Journal of Neurotrauma 33(3):269-77.  PMID 26415041

Myers SA, Andres KR, Hagg T, Whittemore SR. (2014) CD36 deletion improves recovery from spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology 256C:25-38. 

Muradov JM, Ewan EE, Hagg T (2013) Dorsal column sensory axons degenerate due to impaired microvascular perfusion after spinal cord injury in rats. Experimental Neurology  249:59-73.

Keasey MP, Kang, SS, Lovins, C, Hagg T (2013) Inhibition of a novel specific neuroglial integrin signaling pathway increases STAT3-mediated CNTF expression.  Cell Communication and Signaling 11(1):35.

Kang SS, Keasey MP, Hagg T (2013) P2X7 receptor inhibition increases CNTF expression in the subventricular zone, but not neurogenesis of neuroprotection after stroke in adult mice.  Translational Stroke Research 4(5):533-45

Muradov J, Hagg T (2013) Intravenous infusion of magnesium chloride improves epicenter blood flow during the acute stage of contusive spinal cord injury in rats.  Journal of Neurotrauma 30:840-52

Kang SS, Keasey MP, Arnold SA, Reid R, Geralds JT, Hagg T (2012)  Endogenous CNTF mediates stroke-induced adult CNS neurogenesis in mice. Neurobiology of Disease 49: 68-78.

Arnold SA, Hagg T (2012) Serotonin 1A receptor agonist increases species- and region-selective adult CNS proliferation, but not through CNTF. Neuropharmacology 63: 1238-1247 

Kang SS, Keasey MP, Cai J, Hagg T (2012) Loss of neuron-astrocyte interaction rapidly induces protective CNTF expression after stroke in mice.  Journal of Neuroscience 32:9277-87

Arnold SA, Hagg T (2011) Anti-inflammatory treatments during the chronic phase of spinal cord injury improve locomotor function in adult mice. J Neurotrauma 28:1995-2002

Benton RL, Hagg T (2011) Vascular pathology as potential therapeutic target in SCI. Translational Stroke Research 2: 556-572.

Fassbender JM, Whittemore SR, Hagg T. Targeting microvasculature for neuroprotection after SCI.  Neurotherapeutics. 2011 8:240-51.

Han S, Arnold SA, Sithu SD, Mahoney ET, Geralds JT, Phuong V, Benton RL, Maddie MA, DSousa SE, Whittemore SR, Hagg T (2010) Rescuing vasculature with intravenous angiopoietin-1 and avb3 integrin peptide is protective after spinal cord injury. Brain 133: 1026-1042











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