Cerebal Microinfarcts
Modelling the Smallest Strokes
Brain Microvessel Imaging
The Neurovascular Unit and Brain Injury
Stroke Injury and Recovery
Imaging How Brain Circuits Remodel

What we do

Our research focuses on the small blood vessels that delivery oxygen and nutrients to all reaches of the brain. In the human brain, an estimated 400 miles of blood vessels delivers blood to 100 billion neurons. This immensely complex task can easily go awry during human disease. When we are young, genetic and environmental factors can compromise the normal development of brain vasculature. As we age, leakage and blockage of small vessels can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Our laboratory studies how blood vessels grow, degrade, and respond to injury from birth to senescence. We hope that our research will yield new ways to reduce to improve cerebrovascular function in brain diseases that affect both children and adults.

meet the team

We are brain imagers

Andy Shih, Ph.D.
Andy Shih, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor, Center for Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine. Dept. Of Pediatrics. University of Washington.
Manuel Levy, Ph.D.
Manuel Levy, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Imaging Synaptic Plasticity During Stroke Recovery.
Vanessa Coelho-Santos, Ph.D.
Vanessa Coelho-Santos, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
Post-natal Development of the Blood-brain Barrier
Andrée-Anne Berthiaume
Andrée-Anne Berthiaume
Ph.D. Candidate
Pericyte Structural Plasticity and Blood-Brain Barrier Function.
Ian Grant
Ian Grant
Research Specialist
Imaging Small Vessel Disease in Post Mortem Human Brain Tissue.

Lab Updates


Pericyte plasticity and cerebrovascular health

Pericytes are a beautiful cell type to study. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most elegant forms drape along the capillary bed like vines covering an...

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The ins and outs of brain plumbing during dementia

Literature reviews on vascular dementia tend to have an “arterio-centric” view of vascular roles in disease progression. Indeed,  atheroclerosis...

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Understanding Brain Mural Cells

Mural cells cover the vasculature and control numerous aspects of vascular function, including control of blood flow, vessel growth/integrity, scar formation, and...

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