Zena Vexler, PhD
Zinaida Vexler, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Neurology at UCSF and Director of Research at the Neonatal Brain Disorder Center. She has multi-disciplinary training in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, and physiology and has served as Director of MRI Core on PPG since 2002, and as the Director of Research of Neonatal Brain Disorders Center at UCSF since 2003.
Over the last twenty years, her research has been centered on the mechanisms of experimental stroke with the long-term goal of developing effective therapies. She has contributed to the fields of brain vascular and cellular injury after experimental stroke first in the adult and, over more than seventeen years, in the neonate. Dr. Vexler’s lab was the first to establish and characterize the in vivo models of focal arterial stroke in neonatal rodents. With these age-appropriate models of perinatal stroke, she defined that the “signature” of neurovascular integrity after stroke is markedly different after neonatal stroke than after adult stroke. Her studies of microglial cell function in injured neonatal brain have been critical for the improved understanding of neuroinflammation as modifier of perinatal stroke.