Lisa A. Flanagan

Picture of Lisa A. Flanagan
Professor, Neurology
School of Medicine
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Neuroscience
Phone: (949) 824-5786
Fax: (949) 824-0264
University of California, Irvine
845 Health Sciences Rd.
3030 Gross Hall
Mail Code: 1705
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
stem cells, neural, embryonic, neuron
Research Abstract
Dr. Flanagan’s research program combines the fields of neural cell biology and bioengineering to address issues critical to the successful transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) for the repair of injured or diseased central nervous system (CNS) tissue.  As such, her lab is investigating factors that affect the differentiation of NSCs into the three CNS lineages (neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes) and exploring means to direct fate decisions of transplanted or endogenous cells for optimal repair and regeneration.  Dr. Flanagan’s lab has taken two complementary approaches to these problems.  In one, they are developing novel non-invasive methods to identify the fate potential of undifferentiated stem cells with the goal of isolating cells biased to a particular fate. In the other, they investigate the role of extracellular matrix cues in regulating the behavior of NSCs in order to generate instructive three-dimensional matrices for NSC transplantation.  Their goal is to achieve greater control over the differentiation of transplanted stem cells to unravel the contributions of each cell type to effective repair and potentially maximize functional recovery.  These studies have clinical applications for the treatment of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and spinal cord injury.
Last 5 years of publications; For complete list of publications see
Anderson, N., A. Janarious, S. Liu, L.A. Flanagan, D. Stradling, W. Yu. Language disparity is not a significant barrier for time-sensitive care of acute ischemic stroke. BMC Neurology, 20: 363, 2020.
Kautz, R., L. Phan, J. Arulmoli, J.P. Kerr, M. Naeim, J. Long, A. Allevato, J.E. Leal-Cruz, L. Le, P. Derakhsha, F. Tombola, L.A. Flanagan, A.A. Gorodetsky. Growth and spatial control of murine neural stem cells on reflectin films. ACS Biomaterials, 6: 1311-20, 2020.
Adams, T.N.G., A.Y.L. Jiang, N.S. Mendoza, C.C. Ro, D.-H. Lee, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Label-free enrichment of fate-biased human neural stem and progenitor cells. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 152: 111982, 2020.
Jiang, A.Y.L., A.R. Yale, M. Aghaamoo, D.-H. Lee, A.P. Lee, T.N.G. Adams, L.A. Flanagan. High-throughput continuous dielectrophoretic separation of neural stem cells. Biomicrofluidics 13(6): 064111, 2019. (Invited submission)
Liu, Y, A.Y.L. Jiang, E. Kim, C.C. Ro, T.N.G. Adams, L.A. Flanagan, T.J. Taylor, M.A. Hayes. Identification of neural stem and progenitor cell subpopulations using DC insulator-based dielectrophoresis. Analyst 144: 4066-72, 2019.
Ellefsen, K.L., A. Chang, J.R. Holt, J.L. Nourse, J. Arulmoli, A. Mekhdjian, H. Abuwarda, F. Tombola, L.A. Flanagan, A.R. Dunn, I. Parker, M.M. Pathak. Myosin-II mediated traction forces evoke localized Piezo1 Ca2+ flickers. Communications Biology 2: 298, 2019.
Yale, A.R., J.L. Nourse, K.R. Lee, S.N. Ahmed, J. Arulmoli, A.Y.L. Jiang, L.P. McDonnell, G.A. Botten, A.P. Lee, E.S. Monuki, M. Demetriou, L.A. Flanagan. Cell surface N-glycans influence electrophysiological properties and fate potential of neural stem cells. Stem Cell Reports 11(4): 869-82, 2018.
Featured Publication, Neural Cell News, 12.36, September 12, 2018
Featured in The Stem Cell Podcast, Ep. 125, September 11, 2018
Wakida, N.M., G.M.S. Cruz, C.C. Ro, E.G. Moncada, N. Khatibzadeh, L.A. Flanagan, M.W. Berns. Phagocytic response of astrocytes to damaged neighboring cells. PLoS One 13(4):e0196153, 2018.
Que, R.A.*, J. Arulmoli*, N.A. Da Silva, L.A. Flanagan#, S-W. Wang#. Recombinant collagen scaffolds as substrates for human neural stem/progenitor cells. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A 106(5): 1363-72, 2018.
*These two authors contributed equally to this work; #Co-corresponding authors.
Hooshmand M.J., H.X. Nguyen, K.M. Piltti, F. Benavente, S. Hong, L.A. Flanagan, N. Uchida, B.J. Cummings, A.J. Anderson. Neutrophils induce astroglial differentiation and migration of human neural stem cells via C1q and C3a synthesis. J. Immunol 199(3): 1069-85, 2017.
Piltti K.M., G.M. Funes, S.N. Avakian, A.A. Salibian, K.I. Huang, K. Carta, N. Kamei, L.A. Flanagan, E.S. Monuki, N. Uchida, B.J. Cummings, A.J. Anderson. Increasing human neural stem cell transplantation dose alters oligodendroglial and neuronal differentiation after spinal cord injury. Stem Cell Reports 8(6): 1534-48, 2017.
Arulmoli, J., H.J. Wright, D.T.T. Phan, U. Sheth, R.A. Que, G.A. Botten, M. Keating, E.L. Botvinick, M.M. Pathak, T.I. Zarembinski, D.S. Yanni, O.V. Razorenova, C.C.W. Hughes, L.A. Flanagan. Combination scaffolds of salmon fibrin, hyaluronic acid, and laminin for human neural stem cell and vascular tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia 43: 122-138, 2016.
Wright, H.J., J. Arulmoli, M. Motazedi, L.J. Nelson, F.S. Heinemann, L.A. Flanagan, O.V. Razorenova. CDCP1 cleavage is necessary for homodimerization-induced migration of triple-negative breast cancer. Oncogene 35 (36): 4762-72, 2016.
Phan, L., R. Kautz, J. Arulmoli, I.H. Kim, D.T. Le, M.A. Shenk, M.M. Pathak, L.A. Flanagan, F. Tombola, A.A. Gorodetsky. Reflectin as a material for neural stem cell growth. Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 (1): 278-84, 2016.
Arulmoli, J., M.M. Pathak, L.P. McDonnell, J.L. Nourse, F. Tombola, J.C. Earthman, L.A. Flanagan. Static stretch affects neural stem cell differentiation in an extracellular matrix-dependent manner. Scientific Reports 5: 8499, 2015.
Featured Publication, Neural Cell News, 9.06, February 18, 2015
Simon, M.G., Y. Li, J. Arulmoli, L.P. McDonnell, A. Akil, J.L. Nourse, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Increasing label-free stem cell sorting capacity to reach transplantation-scale throughput. Biomicrofluidics 8(6): 064106, 2014.
Pathak, M.M., J.L. Nourse, T. Tran, J. Hwe, J. Arulmoli, D.T. Le, E. Bernardis, L.A. Flanagan, F. Tombola. Stretch-activated ion channel Piezo1 directs lineage choice in human neural stem cells. PNAS 111(45): 16148-16153, 2014.
Bonaventura, G., M.L. Barcellona, O. Golfetto, J.L. Nourse, L.A. Flanagan, E. Gratton. Laurdan monitors different lipid content in eukaryotic membranes during embryonic neural development. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics 70(2): 785-794, 2014.
Nourse, J.L., J.L. Prieto, A.R. Dickson, J. Lu, M.M. Pathak, F. Tombola, M. Demetriou, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Membrane biophysics define neuron and astrocyte progenitors in the neural lineage. Stem Cells 32(3): 706-16, 2014.
Featured Publication, Neural Cell News, 7.37, September 18, 2013
Lu, J., C.C. Barrios, A.R. Dickson, J.L. Nourse, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Advancing practical usage of microtechnology: a study of the functional consequences of dielectrophoresis on neural stem cells. Integrative Biology 4(10): 1223-36, 2012.
Sharp, K.G., A.R. Dickson, S.A. Marchenko, K.M. Yee, P.N. Emery, I. Laidmäe, R. Uibo, E.S. Sawyer, O. Steward, L.A. Flanagan. Salmon fibrin treatment of spinal cord injury promotes functional recovery and density of serotonergic innervation. Experimental Neurology 235(1): 345-56, 2012.
Labeed, F.H., J. Lu, H.J. Mulhall, S.A. Marchenko, K.F. Hoettges, L.C. Estrada, A.P. Lee, M.P. Hughes, L.A. Flanagan. Biophysical characteristics reveal neural stem cell differentiation potential. PLoS ONE 6(9):e25458, 2011. In top 10% most cited articles in PLOS ONE as of June 2017.
Flanagan, L.A., J. Lu, L. Wang, S.A. Marchenko, N. Jeon, A.P. Lee, E.S. Monuki. Unique dielectric properties distinguish stem cells and their differentiated progeny. Stem Cells 26(3): 656-665, 2008.
Professional Societies
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Society for Neuroscience
Biomedical Engineering Society
Other Experience
Graduate Programs
Biomedical Engineering
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research Centers
Stem Cell Research Center
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