Joseph M Castellano

Joseph M Castellano, PhD


Research Topics:

Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, Blood-Brain Barrier, Epigenetics, Extracellular Matrix, Hippocampus, Immunology, Memory, Microglia, Neuro-degeneration/protection, Neuroscience, Synaptic Plasticity, Transgenic Mice

As a graduate student, I studied how the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease influences metabolism of the pathogenic peptide amyloid beta from brain interstitial fluid. In David Holtzman’s group, I used in vivo microdialysis to show in behaving mice that clearance of this peptide is impeded by the presence of APOE4, whereas clearance in the context of more inert or protective forms is faster. As I transititoned into my postdoctoral training, I was fascinated by the possibility that brain function may be, in part, shaped by our immune system and by unexplored activities present within our circulation. In my postdoctoral work with Tony Wyss-Coray, I sought to identify and characterize factors in the periphery that reverse features of brain aging, finding that systemic treatment with umbilical cord plasma revitalizes hippocampal function in aged mice. My laboratory now focuses on characterizing proteins, including TIMP2, and their action in mediating long-range effects on circuits in the brain in the context of Alzheimer's disease and other disorders.


Fellowship, Stanford University

PhD, Washington University in St. Louis