Division of Neuropathology

Faculty, Staff & Students

Leyan Xu, Ph.D. Leyan Xu, Ph.D.

My main research interest is cell therapy on degenerative and traumatic diseases of the nervous system. We have worked on several adult neural stem cell lines for the therapeutic aims in animal models of ALS and spinal cord injury. We also investigated the fate of neural stem cells derived from embryonic stem cells in vivo and in vitro under various environments. Recently, we focus on two researches:
1) cell therapy on traumatic brain injury by using embryonic stem cells derived neuronal precursors and oligodendrocyte precursors on animal model of diffuse axonal injury,
2) mechanism of traumatic brain injury involving repetitive closed head injury (tauopathy) and blast injury (neuroinflammation).


  1. Xu L, Yan J, Chen D, Welsh AM, Hazel T, Johe K, Hatfield G, Koliatsos VE. Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts Ameliorate Motor Neuron Disease in SOD-1 Transgenic Rats. Transplantation 2006, October 82(7): 865-875.
  2. Yan J, Xu L, Welsh AM, Hatfield G, Hazel T, Johe K, Koliatsos VE. Extensive Neuronal Differentiation of Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts in Adult Rat Spinal Cord. Plos Medicine 2007 Feb 13;4(2):0318-0332 (co-first author)
  3. Xu L, Ryugo DK, Pongstaporn T, Johe K, Koliatsos VE. Human neural stem cell grafts in the spinal cord of SOD1 transgenic rats: differentiation and structural integration into the segmental motor circuitry. Journal of Comparative Neurology 2009, Feb 23;514(4):297-309. PMCID: PMC2727711
  4. Koliatsos VE, Cernak I, Xu L, Song Y, Savonenko A, Crain B, Eberhart CG, Frangakis CE, Melnikova T, Kim H, Lee D: A mouse model of blast injury to brain: initial pathological, neuropathological and behavioral characterization. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2011 May;70(5):399-416.
  5. Xu L, Shen P, Hazel T, Johe K, Koliatsos VE. Dual transplantation of human neural stem cells into cervical and lumbar cord ameliorates motor neuron disease in SOD1 transgenic rats. Neurosci Lett. 2011 May 2;494(3):222-6. Epub 2011 Mar 21
  6. Xu L, Mahairaki V, Koliatsos VE. Host induction by transplanted neural stem cells in the spinal cord: further evidence for an adult spinal cord neurogenic niche. Regen. Med. 2012 Nov; 7(6), 785-797