Neuroimmunology Research in the Department of Neurology

Faculty members in the Neuroimmunology Division are dedicated to research focused on changing the course of MS and other neurological autoimmune diseases. Research involves multiple clinical trials as well as active laboratory studies. Areas of study range from advanced neuroimaging to the repair and restoration of the nervous system on a molecular level.

The Neuroimmunology Division regularly receives funding from such institutions as the National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the pharmaceutical industry and more. 

Faculty members in the Neuroimmunology Division are leading research in the following areas:  

Neuroimaging Lab

Dr. Francesca Bagnato

Dr. Bagnato’s lab has two main complementary research goals. First: the lab aims to understand the pathobiology of MS and the substrate of its disability using noninvasive imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Second: the lab aims to identify a surrogate marker of neurodegeneration that can be used as measure of outcome during both natural history and experimental clinical trials, assessing neuroprotection and repair in patients with MS. 

Dr. Bagnato’s lab is generously supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institutes of Health.

Read more about Dr. Bagnato’s work on the lab website.

MRI in MS and Autoimmune Neurology Clinic

Dr. Siddharama Pawate

Dr. Pawate’s primary research focus has been high-field and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging to explore the pathology of multiple sclerosis, and to develop biomarkers for clinical progression and recovery in MS.  Dr. Pawate also runs the Autoimmune Neurology Clinic, focused on immune-mediated diseases of the nervous system other than MS. Dr. Pawate has accumulated one of the largest collections in North America of less-common immune-mediated neurological disorders. He has published observations, providing new insights, of neurosarcoidosis, longitudinal myelitis, Hashimoto encephalopathy, Susacs syndrome, and hereditary leukodystrophy with axonal spheroids.

Immunological Factors in Recovery

Dr. Subramaniam Sriram

The main focus of Dr. Sriram’s laboratory is to examine the immunological factor(s) which are likely involved in recovery of lesions from MS. Dr. Sriram’s laboratory discovered that one particular cytokine, IL-33 is an important player in promoting recovery in animal models of multiple sclerosis. Patients who have stable disease show increased levels of IL-33 in their blood and in the cerebrospinal fluid.