News & Events

Neuro News
News and events of the SCBIRG and the IU neuroscience community


Publications - Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D. Laboratory

One publication investigated the role of acrolein, a lipid peroxidation-derived product, in mediating damage from spinal cord injury (SCI). Their results strongly suggest that acrolein may play a critical role in causing the pathogenesis of SCI and that targeting acrolein could be an effective strategy for repair after SCI.

Gianaris A, Liu NK, Wang XF, Oakes E, Brenia J, Gianaris T, Ruan Y, Deng LX, Goetz M, Vega-Alvarez S, Lu QB, Shi R, Xu XM.

Unilateral microinjection of acrolein into thoracic spinal cord produces acute and chronic injury and functional deficits. Neuroscience. 2016 Apr 4;326:84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.054. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 27058147

Another publication reported an investigation in mice  that had experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study assessed mice in their home cages using the automated  SmartCage system to detect motor, sleep, and anxiety changes during an early phase of TBI. The authors found that using the automated home cage minimized the animals’ stress and increased the consistency of results.

Qu W, Liu NK, Xie XM, Li R, Xu XM.  Automated monitoring of early neurobehavioral changes in mice following traumatic brain injury. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Feb;11(2):248-56. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.177732.  PMID: 27073377


The laboratory of Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., has investigated the role and mechanism of RhoA/Rho kinase in secondary spinal cord injury (SCI).  While the RhoA/Rho kinase pathway is implicated in spinal cord degeneration after SCI, the potential exists for targeting this pathway to promote neuroprotection and axonal regeneration.

Wu X,  Xu XM. RhoA/Rho kinase in spinal cord injury. Neural Regeneration Research 2016 Jan;11(1):23-7. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.169601. PMID 26981071.

Congratulations are extended to Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., for a recent publication from his ongoing work with spinal cord injury, and a grant award that will be used to pursue a collaborative research endeavor for traumatic brain injury.

Ma Z, Zhang YP, Liu W, Yan G, Li Y, Shields LB, Walker M, Chen K, Huang W, Kong M, Lu Y, Brommer B, Chen X, Xu XM, Shields CB. A controlled spinal cord contusion for the rhesus macaque monkey. Experimental Neurology 2016 Feb 11. pii: S0014-4886(16)30030-9. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2016.02.008. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 26875994.

Grant Award
Dr. Xu is a sub-awardee of an NIH grant recently awarded to Anagin LLC, a startup company that commercializes technology arising from research efforts at Indiana University. With this award Dr. Xu will help Anagin test the benefits of a compound that could reduce damage caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Xu will conduct a yearlong Phase 1 investigation with two aims: 1) to determine an optimally effective dose of the new compound in a preclinical model of TBI; and, 2) to investigate whether the compound retains its efficacy when administered in a delayed reaction.

Details of this grant award appeared in an IU Newsroom article on 9 March 2016. Read the full article at the following link:

Congratulations to ISCBIRG investigators and postodoctoral researchers* whose work has recently been published: Jinhui Chen, Ph.D.; *Ling-Xiao Deng, Ph.D.; Xiao-Ming Jin,  Ph.D.; Kathryn Jones Ph.D.; Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D.

Wang H, Zhang YP, Cai J, Shields LB, Tuchek CA, Shi R, Li J, Shields CB, Xu XM.  A compact blast-induced traumatic brain injury model in mice. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol  2016 Jan 22. pii: nlv019. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 26802177.

Fu S, Jiang W, Gao X, Zeng A, Cholger D, Cannon J, Chen J,  Zheng W. Aberrant adult Neurogenesis in the subventricular zone-rostral migratory stream-olfactory bulb system following subchronic manganese exposure. Toxicol Sci  2016 Jan 21. pii: kfw007. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26794142.

Deng L, Ruan Y, Chen C, Frye CC, Xiong W, Jin X, Jones K, Sengelaub D, Xu XM. Characterization of dendritic morphology and neurotransmitter phenotype of thoracic descending propriospinal neurons after complete spinal cord transection and GDNF treatment.

Exp Neurol  2015 Dec 28;277:103-114. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.12.018. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26730519.



Congratulations to the following ISCBIRG members for their recent grant awards from the Indiana State Department of Health:

Jinhui Chen, Ph.D., will pursue research on  Pharmacological manipulation of adult-born hippocampal neurons to rescue memory in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury.

Theodore R. Cummins, Ph.D., will study Sodium channel function and pharmacology in posttraumatic injury epileptogenesis.

Richard B. Rodgers, M.D., a clinical investigator from the IU School of Medicine, will conduct an  Investigation of a novel hemoadsorption system in rats with traumatic brain injury.

Fletcher A. White, Ph.D., will further his work on Novel therapeutic strategies against traumatic brain injury-induced neuroinflammation and chronic pain.



Congratulations are extended to Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., who has been awarded a 2015 Signature Center Initiative 3-year seed grant for the development of a Center for Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research.  The mission of this center is to understand molecular mechanisms underlying traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries and to develop innovative repair strategies that can be translated into clinical treatments of these diseases in a timely and responsive fashion. This mission will be carried out by collaborators from IUPUI and the surrounding region who have translational and clinical expertise in spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury research and treatment.


Jinhui Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and IU School of Medicine collaborators have recently  published the results of their investigation into the molecular mechanisms of seizures that occur with the brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme.  Their article appeared in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.


Gao X, Wang H, Pollok KE, Chen J, Cohen-Gadol AA.  Activation of death-associated protein kinase in human peritumoral tissue: A potential therapeutic target. J Clin Neurosci 2015 Jul 9. pii: S0967-5868(15)00234-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.03.044. Epub ahead of print.  PMID: 26165472.


The laboratory group of Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D. has recently published their studies of the effect of physical training after spinal cord injury in Experimental Neurology. Their data have shown that exercise induces cellular and molecular responses of CNS motor pathways and improves locomotor function. 

Wang H, Liu NK, Zhang YP, Deng L, Lu QB, Shields CB, Walker MJ, Li J, Xu XM. Treadmill training induced lumbar motoneuron dendritic plasticity and behavior recovery in adult rats after a thoracic contusive spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol 2015 Jul 9;271:368-378. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.07.004. Epub ahead of print.  PMID: 26164199.



Jinhui Chen, M.D, Ph.D., and coauthors have published an article in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology that reports their findings on the role of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (DHF) in promoting the survival of immature neurons in the hippocampus after traumatic brain injury.

Chen L, Gao X, Zhao S, Hu W, Chen J.  The small-molecule TrkB agonist 7, 8-dihydroxyflavone decreases hippocampal newborn neuron death after traumatic brain injury.  J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2015 Jun; 74(6):557-67. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0000000000000199. PMID: 25933388.



Congratulations to Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., for his latest book, Neural Regeneration (2015; 431 pp.).

Neural Regeneration, an exciting new book coedited by  Kwok-Fai So and Xiao-Ming Xu, has been published recently by Science Press (Elsevier Inc.). This vividly illustrated book includes 27 chapters authored by global experts in the field of neural regeneration research. The book’s content presents state-of-the-art research on topics that cover 1) neural regeneration in lower vertebrates, 2) neural regeneration in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, 3) transplantation-mediated neural regeneration, and 4) clinical and translational research.


Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., and international colleagues have recently published an article in Experimental Neurology.

Kwon BK, Streijger F, Hill CE, Anderson AJ, Bacon M, Beattie MS, Blesch A, Bradbury EJ, Brown A, Bresnahan JC, Case CC, Colburn RW, David S, Fawcett JW, Ferguson AR, Fischer I, Floyd CL, Gensel JC, Houle JD, Jakeman LB, Jeffery ND, Jones LA, Kleitman N, Kocsis J, Lu P, Magnuson DS, Marsala M, Moore SW, Mothe AJ, Oudega M, Plant GW, Rabchevsky AS, Schwab JM, Silver J, Steward O, Xu XM, Guest JD, Tetzlaff W.  

Large Animal and Primate Models of Spinal Cord Injury for the Testing of Novel Therapies.  Experimental  Neurology 2015 Apr 19. pii: S0014-4886(15)00122-3. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.04.008. [Epub ahead of print].   PMID: 25902036.



Congratulations to ISBIRG authors for their recent publication in Experimental Neurology!

Walker CL, Wang X, Bullis C, Liu NK, Lu Q, Fry C, Deng L, Xu XM. Biphasic bisperoxovanadium administration and Schwann cell transplantation for repair after cervical contusive spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology. 2015 Feb;264:163-72. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.12.002. Epub 2014 Dec 12. (PMID: 25510318)



Congratulations to the laboratory staff of Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D. for their recent publication in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)!

Walker MJ, Walker CL, Zhang YP, Shields LB, Shields CB, Xu XM. A novel vertebral stabilization method for producing contusive spinal cord injury.  J Visualized Experiments 2015 Jan 5;(95). doi: 10.3791/50149.  PMID: 25590284.



Congratulations to Jinhui Chen, Ph.D. for his publication in Neurosurgical Focus.  This research was supported in part by the IUPUI Signature Center Initiative for the Cure of Glioblastoma.

Gao X, Wang H, Cai S, Saadatzadeh MR, Hanenberg H, Pollok KE, Cohen-Gadol AA, Chen J.

Phosphorylation of NMDA 2B at S1303 in human glioma peritumoral tissue: implications for glioma epileptogenesis. Neurosurgical Focus. 2014 Dec;37(6):E17. doi: 10.3171/2014.9.FOCUS14485. PMID: 25434386.


Congratulations to Chandler Walker, Naikui Liu, Lingxiao Deng, and Xiaoming Xu for their recent publication in Experimental Neurology!

Walker CL, Wang X, Bullis C, Liu N, Lu Q, Fry C, Deng L, Xu X.

Biphasic bisperoxovanadium administration and Schwann cell transplantation for repair after cervical contusive spinal cord injury.  Experimental Neurology 2014 Dec 12;264C:163-172. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.12.002. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 25510318.


Congratulations to Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D. for his recent grant award from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. This funding will support Dr. Xu’s work on Schwann cell migration-mediated axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury.


Xiaoming Jin, Ph.D., has been awarded an NIH EUREKA grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to further his research into homeostatic plasticity in the control of neuropathic pain.

Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D., will present “Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotrauma” at the Acute Care in Neurotrauma Symposium sponsored by the IU School of Medicine.  The symposium will be held October 10, 2014, at the IU Health Neuroscience Center. 



Congratulations to Lingxiao Deng, Chandler Walker, PhD, and Xiaoming Xu for their recent publication in Brain Research!

Deng LX, Walker C, Xu XM. Schwann cell transplantation and descending propriospinal regeneration after spinal cord injury. Brain Res. 2014 Sep 22. pii: S0006-8993(14)01260-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.038.  Epub ahead of print.  PMID: 25257034.


Dr. Xiaoming Jin has recently been awarded an NIH R01 grant called EUREKA (Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) for Neuroscience and Disorders of the Nervous System). The grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse is part of a NIH program that supports exceptionally innovative research projects and enables scientists to test novel concepts, tools and approaches that could have a broad impact on biomedical research. In collaboration with Dr. Fletcher White of the Stark Neuroscience Research Institute, Dr. Jin will use electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques and behavior assessments to study neuropathic pain. The project is aimed at determining the roles of the cerebral cortex in the mechanism and treatment of neuropathic pain that is often refractory to current pharmacological treatment. This EUREKA project has the potential to develop novel strategies and open a door for discovering new drugs for controlling neuropathic pain.

Dr. Xiaoming Jin has received a 2014 Prevention of Acquired Epilepsies Award from the CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) Foundation. The grant, which will provide $250,000 over a period of three years, will fund research examining the role of High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) in the development of posttraumatic epilepsy and to prevent it by targeting the HMGB1 signaling pathway. This project will be conducted with collaborators from the IU School of Medicine:  Dr. Fletcher White , Professor of Anesthesiology and Dr. Zao-Cheng Xu, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Congratulations to the following members who received grant awards!

Xiaoming Jin, Ph.D., has received a grant from Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy to support his work on targeting high mobility group Box-1 signaling for preventing posttraumatic epileptogenesis.

Naikui Liu, M.D, Ph.D., has received a grant from the Indiana State Department of Health for his research into activation of cPLA2 and mitochondrial dysfunction in spinal cord injury.



Job well done to the recently published articles!

Carlson SW, Madathil SK, Sama DM, Gao X, Chen J, Saatman KE. Conditional overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and restores immature neuron dendritic processes after traumatic brain injury. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2014 Aug;73(8):734-46. doi: 10.1097/NEN.0000000000000092. PMID: 25003234.

Liu NK, Zhang YP, Zou J, Verhovshek T, Chen C, Lu QB, Walker CL, Shields CB, Xu XM. A semicircular controlled cortical impact produces long-term motor and cognitive dysfunction that correlates well with damage to both the sensorimotor cortex and hippocampus. Brain Res. 2014 Aug 12;1576:18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.05.042. Epub 2014 Jun 4. PMID: 24905625.


 PTEN inhibitor bisperoxovandium protects oligodendrocytes and myelin and prevents neuronal atrophy in adult rats following cervical hemicontusive spinal cord injury.   Chandler L. Walker, Ph.D. and Xiao-Ming Xu, Ph.D.

Congratulations go to Chandler Walker and Xiao-Ming Xu for the acceptance of their recent paper for publication in the Neuroscience Letters. The editors have acknowledged the excellence of the paper, which they will publish in the Plenary Articles of a forthcoming issue of the journal.

cPLA2 protein as a novel therapeutic target for spinal cord injury

Nai-Kui Liu, Ling-Xiao Deng, Yi-Ping Zhang, Xiao-Fei Wang, Jian-Guo Hu, Eddie Oakes, Joseph Bonventre, Christopher Shields, Xiao-Ming Xu

We are pleased to announce the acceptance of this article for publication in the Annals of Neurology, a pretigious, high impact journal.



Congratulations to Drs. Walker, Liu, and Xu for their recent research article publixhed in Frontiers in Biology (Beijing). Full text of the article can be accessed through both PubMed and PubMed Central:

Walker CL, Liu NK, Xu XM. PTEN/PI3K and MAPK signaling in protection and pathology following CNS injuries. Front Biol (Beijing.2013 Aug 1;8(4). doi: 10.1007/s11515-013-1255-1. [PMID: 24348522; PMCID:PMC3858858].



In response to the request made by Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu, the collection development committee of Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine, will purchase an online subscription to the Journal of Neurotrauma and will add this title to the library's collection in 2014. Access to the journal wil be activated at the start of the new year and will be announced in the ISCBIRG News and Events.


Congratulations to Ling-Xiao Deng, Ph.D candidate (laboratory of Xiao-Ming Xu) for winning the poster competition at the annual meeting of the Indianapolis Chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, held on the 18th of October. The poster was titled "Combinatory Strategy among Aligned Filaments, Extracellular Matrix Molecules, Schwann Cells, and GDNF in Adult Rat Thoracic Spintal Cord Hemi-section Injury".



Congratulations to Joel Brittain, Dr. Rajesh Khanna, and other contributing colleagues whose recent paper was accepted for publication in a 2011 edition of the top tier journal, Nature Medicine. Joel is a doctoral student in the Medical Neuroscience Program under the supervision of Dr. Khanna. The title of the paper is “Suppression of inflammatory and neuropathic pain by uncoupling CRMP-2 from the presynaptic Ca2+ channel complex.” Dr. Khanna is a member of our Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group. (Submitted by Xiao-Ming Xu, MD, PhD)


Chandler Walker, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, has just been awarded a three-year NIH predoctoral fellowship (1F31NS071863-01A1) starting Feb. 1, 2011. Chandler is conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Xiao-Ming Xu. The title of his research project is “Grafting genetically-modified Schwann cells into a clinically-relevant spinal cord injury model.”  Let us congratulate Chandler for receiving such a prestigious award from the NIH!


Scientist Positions in Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research

The Stark Neurosciences Research Institute (SNRI) of the Indiana University School of Medicine is seeking outstanding investigators for non-tenured faculty positions at the rank of Assistant Scientist in its Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group (SCBIRG). More senior candidates with outstanding credentials in research and extramural funding may also be considered. Primary faculty appointments will be in the Department of Neurological Surgery and/or the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, although other department affiliations are possible. Of particular interest are candidates with one or more of the following expertise: 1) molecular mechanisms underlying axonal guidance, plasticity and regeneration, 2) cell death mechanisms and neuroprotection, 3) traumatic brain and/or spinal cord injury models and functional assessments, 4) high throughput screening of therapeutic small molecules, and 5) transgenic animal models in spinal cord regeneration.

Qualified applicants should have a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree, at least several years of postdoctoral experience, and a consistent history of high quality publications. Candidates will be expected to develop a successful, funded research program and participate in graduate and medical student training. Exceptional resources include generous start-up funding, ample lab space in a new research building, and access to excellent core facilities including DNA array and mass spectral analyses, viral vector generation, transgenic facilities, multi-photon microscopy, and small animal functional imaging.

Interested individuals should send a curriculum vita, a cover letter stating research interests and accomplishments, a prospectus of future research plans, and names and addresses of 3 professional references. Please address application materials to Faculty Search Committee and submit in electronic format to Evaluation of applications will begin upon receipt and continue until the positions are filled. Women and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply. IU is an EEO/AA Employer, M/F/D.



Congratulations to Dr. Xiaoming Jin of our Group who has published an article in the recent issue of PNAS (April 27, 2010, 107:7975-7980). In this paper, Dr. Jin and colleagues tested whether a complement cascade protein C1q was involved in the elimination of excessive CNS synapses during development. Using C1q knockout (KO) mice, they provided a remarkable example of spontaneous epileptogenesis due to a genetically determined developmental failure to prune excessive excitatory synapses. Dr. Jin is a co-first author on this paper and the work was done at Stanford University School of Medicine; and was in part supported by a K99 NS057940 grant awarded to Dr. Jin.

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