Zena Vexler, PhD

Director of Research, Neonatal Brain Disorders Center
Department of Neurology
+1 415 502-7282
Research Description: 

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 five 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.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Vascular & Cardiac Biology
Research Summary: 
Brain microenvironment as modulator of neurovascular injury and repair after adult and neonatal stroke


Featured Publications: 

Microglial Cells Prevent Hemorrhage in Neonatal Focal Arterial Stroke.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Fernández-López D, Faustino J, Klibanov AL, Derugin N, Blanchard E, Simon F, Leib SL, Vexler ZS

The role of inflammation in perinatal brain injury.

Nature reviews. Neurology

Hagberg H, Mallard C, Ferriero DM, Vannucci SJ, Levison SW, Vexler ZS, Gressens P

Mechanisms of perinatal arterial ischemic stroke.

Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Fernández-López D, Natarajan N, Ashwal S, Vexler ZS

Genetic deletion of CD36 enhances injury after acute neonatal stroke.

Annals of neurology

Woo MS, Wang X, Faustino JV, Derugin N, Wendland MF, Zhou P, Iadecola C, Vexler ZS

Blood-brain barrier permeability is increased after acute adult stroke but not neonatal stroke in the rat.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Fernández-López D, Faustino J, Daneman R, Zhou L, Lee SY, Derugin N, Wendland MF, Vexler ZS

Microglial cells contribute to endogenous brain defenses after acute neonatal focal stroke.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Faustino JV, Wang X, Johnson CE, Klibanov A, Derugin N, Wendland MF, Vexler ZS

Acute and chronic vascular responses to experimental focal arterial stroke in the neonate rat.

Translational stroke research

Fernández-López D, Faustino J, Derugin N, Vexler ZS