Earl Grande, Vel, V. Richard Zerling Stroke, Stem Cell, and Neuroimaging Laboratory

Lions Research Building/McGuire Translational Research Facility (LRB/MTRF)

Treatment of stroke using endogenous or exogenous stem cells

The Earl Grande, Vel, V. Richard Zerling Stroke, Stem Cell, and Neuroimaging Laboratory is focused on identifying novel treatments for stroke using endogenous (originating or growing within an organism or tissue) or exogenous (originating outside an organism or system) stem cells. Stroke remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 650,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Despite great advancements in medical technology, less than 5% of patients receive any form of treatment. Consequently, 30% of patients die and 30% have significant, permanent disability.

In our laboratory, we focus on finding treatments for patients who progress to having a completed stroke and permanent disability. We believe that this is an opportune time, given recent discoveries of stem cells in the adult brain and even more recent discoveries involving cell reprogramming where now your own skin cells can be converted into stem cells or directly into neurons that can be used for transplantation.

Our research is focused on three specific aims:

  1. Identifying normal neurogenesis (formation and development of nerve cells) in the adult brain and studying ways to manipulate and enhance this normal production of neurons
  2. Using exogenous stem cells (transplantation) delivered either through a microcatheter within the arteries of the brain, or injected intravenously or directly to the area of a stroke
  3. Reprogramming resident brain cells to generate neurons that can incorporate into the existing circuitry of the brain following a stroke.

Through collaborations with the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, we are studying new imaging models focused on stroke, cerebral vascular reserve, and the study of cranial nerves found at the skull base.

Research Focus

Normal Adult Neurogenesis

The discovery of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult mammalian brain, including humans, has raised the intriguing possibility of using endogenous NSCs for regeneration and repair of damaged brains. Specifically, endogenous NSCs have been found in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the dentate gyrus (DG).

Exogenous Cell Transplantation and Cell Reprogramming

Together with Walter Low, Ph.D., we are studying the potential use of human non-hematopoietic cord blood stem cells found in bone marrow (nh-UCBSCs) for the treatment of stroke.

CMRR Collaboration

The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) located at the University of Minnesota is a world renowned MRI research facility. Known for its pioneering work in ultra high-field MRI, the facility produced the world's first human-compatible 7-tesla scanner in 1999.

News & Publications

Nakafuku M, Grande A, Neurogenesis in the damaged mammalian brain, In: Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience, Chapter 74. Eds. Pasko Rakic and John Rubenstein. Elsevier Inc (Amsterdam) (2011).

Nakafuku M, Nagao M, Grande A, Cancelliere A, Revisiting neural stem cell identity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(3): 829-830 (2008).

Nan Z, Grande A, Sanberg C, Sanberg P, Low W, Infusion of human umbilical cord blood ameliorates neurologic deficits in rats with hemorrhagic brain injury, Annals of the New York Acadamy of Sciences 1049:84-96 (2005).

Rodrigues C, Spellman S, Sola S, Grande A, Cheryle L, Low W, Steer C, Neuroprotection by bile acid in an acute stroke model of rat, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 22: 463-471 (2002).

Our Team


Andrew W. Grande, M.D. (Co-director)

Bharathidasan Jagadeesan, M.D. (Co-director)

Graduate/Masters Students

Joshua Lim, M.D.


Holly Hewitt


Nicholas Dick

Zach Rollins

Quincy Rudman

Morgan Forgette


Kyle Schaible

Sean Moen


Walter C. Low, Ph.D.

Past Members

Nan (Crusoe) Zhenhong, M.D., currently a scientist at the University of Michigan

Mario Julian, currently a medical student at the New York Medical College