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Biomedical Sciences

Quillen College of Medicine

Theo Hagg
Theo Hagg

Theo  Hagg 

Biomedical Sciences





Additional Contact Information:

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Quillen College of Medicine
Stanton-Gerber Building 178 
PO Box 70582
Room B-206
Phone:  423-439-6294

Hagg Lab pic



       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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Matt P. Keasey, PhD, Research Assistant Professor 
Chiharu Lovins, MSc, Director of Research
DEL Lovins, Technician
Hannah M. Malone, BSc, PhD Graduate Student
Cuihong Jia, PhD, collaborator, Assistant Professor

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


NIH R01AG029493  "Targeting CNTF to increase adult forebrain neurogenesis"
NIH R01NS102745 “Targeting blood-derived integrin signaling after stroke”


Jia C, Keasey MP, Malone H, Lovins C, Sante RR, Razskazovskiy V, Hagg T (2019) Vitronectin from brain pericytes promotes adult forebrain neurogenesis by stimulating CNTF.  Experimental Neurology 312:20-32.  PMID 30408465.

Jia C, Keasey MP, Malone H, Lovins C, Hagg T (2018) Inhibition of astrocyte FAK-JNK signaling promotes subventricular zone neurogenesis through CNTF.  Glia 66(11):2456-2469.  PMID 30500112

Jia C, Brown RW, Malone HM, Burgess KC, Gill WD, Keasey MP, Hagg T (2018) Ciliary neurotrophic factor is a key sex-specific regulator of depressive-like behavior in mice. Psychoneuroendocrinology 100:96-105. PMID: 30299260.

Keasey MP, Jia C, Pimentel LF, Sante RR, Lovins C, Hagg T. (2018) Blood vitronectin is a major activator of LIF and IL-6 in the brain through integrin-FAK and uPAR signaling. Journal of Cell Science Dec 8. pii: jcs.202580, PMID 29222114

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

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, 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.

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

Complete list of publications in PubMed:


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