Dr. Agalliu is a Neuroscientist with 20 years of research experience in developmental, cellular and molecular neuroscience and has specialized in the interaction of brain and blood vessels in the healthy and diseased Central Nervous System (CNS).
Dr. Agalliu is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Cell Biology, and Pharmacology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. His laboratory is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate formation of the blood-brain barrier in the central nervous system (CNS) and the mechanisms of barrier breakdown in a variety of CNS diseases such as stroke and autoimmune diseases (like Multiple Sclerosis) having symptoms that include blood-brain barrier failure, using a variety of genetic, molecular, cellular and imaging approaches.
The Agalliu Lab has developed novel mouse strains that allow them to visualize changes in structural components of the blood-brain barrier, namely tight junctions and caveolae, in living animals for several CNS diseases (e.g. stroke and multiple sclerosis) in order to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying barrier impairment in these neurological disorders. In addition, his laboratory is investigating the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in development of the CNS vasculature and formation of the blood-brain barrier and blood-retina barrier, and the role of this pathway in repairing the barrier in diseases where its function is compromised (e.g. stroke and autoimmune disorders). Finally, they are investigating the mechanisms of immune cells entry into the CNS in a novel animal model for a neuropsychiatric disorder caused by multiple Streptococcus pyogenes infections, in order to understand how immune cells induce neurovascular, synaptic and behavioral deficits in the brain