Aileen J Anderson, PhD

Picture of Aileen J Anderson, PhD
Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
School of Medicine
Director, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
B.S., University of Illinois, Urbana, 1987, Bioengineering
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1996, Biology, Neurobiology
Phone: (949) 824-6750
University of California, Irvine
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
Building 845, Room 2030
Mail Code: 1705
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
stem cell biology, spinal cord injury, glioblastoma, inflammatory mechanisms in degeneration and regeneration in the injured CNS. Human CNS stem cell engraftment in the injured CNS, and mechanisms for promotion of neurological recovery.
Academic Distinctions
Science Advisory Board, Wings for Life (2023-present)
Science Advisory Board, Center for Neuroregeneration, The Methodist Hospital (2020-present)
Science Advisory Board, TIRR Foundation Mission Connect (2017-present)
Science Advisory Board, Americans for Cures 2015-present)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Irvine, (1996).
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, (1996-1998).

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, (1996 - 1998).

Researcher, University of California Irvine, (1998 - 2001).
Research Abstract
My scientific focus is on neuro-immune interactions in the central nervous system (CNS), particularly the role of the immune microenvironment in neural stem cell fate, migration and self-renewal. Additional work in my laboratory focuses on the application of biomaterials to enhance regeneration after SCI, and therapeutic strategis to target glioma stem cells. Pre-clinical and translational work from my laboratory directly supported an IND filing for an FDA approved phase I trial of human neural stem cells in the myelination disorder, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), and a phase I/II clinical trial for human neural stem cells in thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI). In addition to serving as the Director of the UCI Stem Cell Research Center, I currently serve on multiple advisory and review boards.
Awards and Honors
UCI School of Medicine Outstanding Mid-Career Faculty Award honoree (2023).
UCI Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Mentorship (2006).
Harvard Medical School Clinical Neuroscience Training Program Fellowship. (1996 - 1997).
5th Conference on Alzheimer's Disease Young Investigator Award. (1996).
National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship. (1992 - 1994).
Short Biography
Director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Facility UC Irvine (2017-present).
Associate Director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Facility UC Irvine (2013-2017).
Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehab, Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Neurosurgery UC Irvine (2014-present).
Associate Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehab and Anatomy & Neurobiology, UC Irvine (2007-2014).
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehab and Anatomy & Neurobiology, UC Irvine (2001-2007).
Visiting Scholar in Writing, Brandeis University. (1997).
Selected Publications

Nekanti U, Sakthivel P, Zahedi A, Creasman DA, Nishi RA, Dumont CM, Piltti KM, Guardamondo GL, Hernandez N, Chen X, Song H, Lin X, Martinez J, On L, Lakatos A, Pawar K, David BT, Guo Z, Seidlits SK, Xu X, Shea LD, Cummings BJ, Anderson AJ. Multichannel bridges and NSC synergize to enhance axon regeneration, myelination, synaptic reconnection, and recovery after SCI. Nature Regenerative Medicine [Preprint]. 2023 Jul doi: 10.21203/ PMID: 37502943
Benavente F, Piltti K, Hooshmand, M, Nava, A, Feld, B, Gershon, P, Anderson, A. Complement C1q Interacts with Novel Transmembrane Receptors to control Neural Stem Cell Behavior. eLife. 2020 Sep 7;9:e55732. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55732.

Nguyen H.X., Hooshmand, M.J., Saiwai, H., Maddox, J., Salehi, A., Salazar, D., Uchida, N., Anderson, A.J. (2017). Systemic neutrophil depletion modulates the migration and fate of transplanted human neural stem cells to rescue functional repair. Journal of Neuroscience. 37(38):9269-9287.

Hooshmand, M.J., Nguyen, H.X. #, Piltti, K.M. #, Benavente, F.#, Hong, S., Flanagan, L., Uchida, N, Cummings, B.J. , and Anderson, A. J. (2017). Neutrophils induce astroglial differentiation and migration of human neural stem cells via C1q and C3a synthesis. Journal of Immunology. 199(3):1069-1085. PMCID: PMC5523578

Piltti K.M., Funes G.M., Avakian S.N., Salabian A.A., Huang K., Carta K., Kamei N., Flanagan L., Monuki E.S., Uchida N., Cummings B.J., Anderson A.J. (2017, online May 4). Increasing human neural stem cell transplantation dose alters oligodendroglial and neuronal differentiation after spinal cord injury. Stem Cell Reports. 6;8(6):1534-1548

Anderson, A. J., Piltti, K. M., Hooshmand, M. J., Nishi, R. A., and Cummings B. J. (2017). Efficacy failure of human central nervous system derived stem cells (HuCNS-SC) for use in the “Pathway Study™” of cervical spinal cord injury. Stem Cell Reports. 14;8(2):249-263.

Pawar, K., Cummings, B. J., Thomas, A., Shea, L. D., Levine, A., Pfaff, S., Anderson, A. J. (2015). 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, 65, 1-12. 0142-9612. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.05.032. PMC4523232.

Sontag, C. J., Uchida, N., Cummings, B. J., Anderson, A. J. (2014). Injury to the spinal cord niche alters the engraftment dynamics of human neural stem cells. Stem Cell Reports, 2(5), 620–632. Cell Press.

Beck, K. D., Nguyen, H. X., Galvan, M. D., Salazar, D. L., Woodruff, T. M., Anderson, A. J. (2010). Quantitative analysis of cellular inflammation after traumatic spinal cord injury: evidence for a multiphasic inflammatory response in the acute to chronic environment. Brain, 133(2), 433–447. Oxford Univ Press.

Galvan, M. D., Luchetti, S., Burgos, A. M., Nguyen, H. X., Hooshmand, M. J., Hamers, F. P., Anderson, A. J. (2008). Deficiency in complement C1q improves histological and functional locomotor outcome after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(51), 13876–13888.

Cummings, B. J., Uchida, N., Tamaki, S. J., Salazar, D. L., Hooshmand, M., Summers, R., Gage, F. H., Anderson, A. J. (2005). Human neural stem cells differentiate and promote locomotor recovery in spinal cord-injured mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(39), 14069–14074.
Professional Societies
Society for Neuroscience
American Association for the Advancement of Science
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Graduate Programs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research Centers
UCI Institute for Memory Impairment & Neurological Disorders
UCI Center for Immunology
UCI Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
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