Brian J Cummings

Picture of Brian J Cummings
Professor & Vice-Chair for Research, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
School of Medicine
Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Senate
School of Medicine
Ph.D., University of California: Irvine, 1997, Neuroscience
Phone: (949) 824-3254
University of California, Irvine
2026 Gross Hall
845 Health Science Road
Mail Code: 1705
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
stem cell biology traumatic brain injury, concussion, spinal cord injury, neurotrauma, Alzheimer's disease
Academic Distinctions
Dr. Cummings is interested in neurotrauma and neuroregeneration; both at the cellular level, and from a broader, behavioral perspective. His lab studies the interaction of human neural stem cells (hNSCs) in the normal, injured, and aged CNS niches and the link between neurotrauma and subsequent development of AD-pathology and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). His lab is also screening neuroprotective drugs in a 3-dimensional in vitro (cell culture dish) model of traumatic brain injury.

Hobbies/Outside Interests.
Woodworking, horseback riding, Tae Kwon Do, and the Pittsburg Steelers
Research Abstract
Dr. Cummings was awarded his doctorate in Psychobiology in 1993 for his work on Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology. Subsequently, he was a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, an Instructor at Brandies College, and Director of Science at Sage Hill School before returning to UCI in 2002. He has more then 25 years of experience in animal models of neurodegeneration and neurotrauma and more than a decade of experience with human neural stem cell transplantations in the CNS. His work contributed to the pre-clinical data resulting in FDA approval for a fetal derived human neural stem cell trial in the myelination disorder Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), and SwissMedic approval for the treatment of chronic, thoracic spinal cord injuries in collaboration with Dr. Aileen Anderson and StemCells Inc. He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, and has been PI or co-PI on NIH, DoD, Alzheimer’s Association, and CIRM grants.
Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa, 1987
Lois Shepherd Green Award in Philosophy, 1987
Bronze Tablet - top 3% of graduating class Univeristy of Illinois 1987
Earle C. Anthony Fellowship for graduate research, 1987-88
National Research Service Award, 7/89 - 6/90
Alzheimer's Association of Orange County Scientific Advisory Board, 1993-96
AAAS Mass Media and Science Fellows Finalist, 1995
Alzheimer’s Research Forum Scientific Advisory Board, 1996-99
Faculty Welfare Committee (2006)
Faculty Housing Representative Board (HRB) member and Chair (2002-2006)
COHS Representative Assembly (PM&R), 2006 - 2008
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), 2006-2009
UK-US Stem Cell Collaboration Development Award, Co-recipient, July 2009
SOM Medical School Admissions Faculty Interviewer, 2002-2004, 2010-2012
Associate Director of Infrastructure: Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Center, 2011- 2014
Director - Olympus Live Cell Imaging Suite (FV10i & VivaView), 2010-2014
SOM PBF - Planning, Budget, and Facilities Committee, 2012-2016
ARAC - Animal Research Advisory Committee, Sept 2013-2015
CIRM Leadership Award UCI FTE search committee, Sept 2013-Jan 2014
American Society for Neural Therapy & Repair Edu Committee, 2014-present
Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring (SOM), 2014
Elected representative, College of Health Sciences, Irvine Divisional Senate, 2014-15
Elective representative, College of Health Sciences Executive Committee, 2015-2018
UCI Chief of Medicine Health Referee Committee, 2016-present
Elective representative, COHS, to the Irvine Divisional Senate, 2017-2019
COHS Space & Resource Allocation Committee (SRAC), 2018-2020
UCI Provost Leadership Academy (nominated by the Dean), 2018-2019
Vice Chair, COHS Space Resource Allocation Committee (SRAC), 2018-2019
Faculty Resource and Mentorship Program, 2019-present
Anatomy & Neurobiology Graduate Student Advisor, 2019-present
CoHS Equity Advisor to the Dean (SOM), 2019-2020
Chair, CoHS Inter-disciplinary Research Committee, 2019-2020
Continuity of Critical Research During COVID19 Committee, March 2020
Publications. Most recent 10 from more than 70

1. Beretta S, Cunningham KM, Haus DL, Gold EM, Perez H, López-Velázquez L, Cummings
BJ. Effects of Human ES-Derived Neural Stem Cell Transplantation and Kindling in
a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury. Cell transplantation. 2016; PubMed
[journal] PMID: 27938477

2. Anderson AJ, Cummings BJ. Achieving Informed Consent for Cellular Therapies: A
Preclinical Translational Research Perspective on Regulations versus a Dose of
Reality. The Journal of law, medicine & ethics : a journal of the American
Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. 2016; 44(3):394-401. NIHMSID: NIHMS856760
PubMed [journal] PMID: 27587445, PMCID: PMC5435227

3. Haus DL, López-Velázquez L, Gold EM, Cunningham KM, Perez H, Anderson AJ,
Cummings BJ. Transplantation of human neural stem cells restores cognition in an
immunodeficient rodent model of traumatic brain injury. Experimental neurology.
2016; 281:1-16. PubMed [journal] PMID: 27079998

4. Koliatsos VE, Xu L, Cummings BJ. Stem cell therapies for traumatic brain injury.
Regenerative medicine. 2015; 10(8):917-20. PubMed [journal] PMID: 26542417

5. Chang J, Phelan M, Cummings BJ. A meta-analysis of efficacy in pre-clinical human
stem cell therapies for traumatic brain injury. Experimental neurology. 2015;
273:225-33. PubMed [journal] PMID: 26342754

6. Pawar K, Cummings BJ, Thomas A, Shea LD, Levine A, Pfaff S, Anderson AJ.
Biomaterial bridges enable regeneration and re-entry of corticospinal tract axons
into the caudal spinal cord after SCI: Association with recovery of forelimb
function. Biomaterials. 2015; 65:1-12. NIHMSID: NIHMS706904 PubMed [journal]
PMID: 26134079, PMCID: PMC4523232

7. Xu L, Ryu J, Hiel H, Menon A, Aggarwal A, Rha E, Mahairaki V, Cummings BJ,
Koliatsos VE. Transplantation of human oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in an
animal model of diffuse traumatic axonal injury: survival and differentiation.
Stem cell research & therapy. 2015; 6:93. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25971252, PMCID:

8. Haus DL, Nguyen HX, Gold EM, Kamei N, Perez H, Moore HD, Anderson AJ, Cummings
BJ. CD133-enriched Xeno-Free human embryonic-derived neural stem cells expand
rapidly in culture and do not form teratomas in immunodeficient mice. Stem cell
research. 2014; 13(2):214-26. PubMed [journal] PMID: 25082219

9. Nguyen HX, Nekanti U, Haus DL, Funes G, Moreno D, Kamei N, Cummings BJ, Anderson
AJ. Induction of early neural precursors and derivation of tripotent neural stem
cells from human pluripotent stem cells under xeno-free conditions. The Journal
of comparative neurology. 2014; 522(12):2767-83. PubMed [journal] PMID: 24715528

10. Piltti KM, Avakian SN, Funes GM, Hu A, Uchida N, Anderson AJ, Cummings BJ.
Transplantation dose alters the dynamics of human neural stem cell engraftment,
proliferation and migration after spinal cord injury. Stem cell research. 2015;
15(2):341-53. NIHMSID: NIHMS711267 PubMed [journal] PMID: 26298025, PMCID:
Other Experience
Instructor in Neuroscience
Harvard Medical School 1996—1997
Visiting Faculty in Writing
Brandeis University 1997—1997
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research Centers
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
UCI Memory Impairments & Neurological Disorders
UCI Neurotrauma Consortium
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