Jacqueline C. Bresnahan PhD


Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery


Dr. Bresnahan's research focuses on understanding the biological underpinnings of neurotrauma, particularly spinal cord injury, with the goal of improving recovery for individuals who suffer damage to the nervous system. Her laboratory has developed a number of models to study cellular systems and behavioral changes that occur as a consequence of injury. Her major research interests are cell death mechanisms, including excitotoxicity; regeneration and repair (especially of oligodendrocytes — the glial cells that produce myelin); neuroprotection; transplantation; and mechanisms of functional recovery after cervical spinal cord injury in both rodent and primate models.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1968: BA, Kent State University
1970: MA, Ohio State University
1973: PhD, Ohio State University
1973-1977: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy, Ohio State University
1977-1984: Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Ohio State University
1985-1991: Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Ohio State University
1991-1999: Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Ohio State University
1999-2006: Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Ohio State University
2001-2006: Associate Dean for Basic Research, College of Medicine, Ohio State University
2004-2006: Professor, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University
2006-present: Professor Emeritus, Deptartment of Neuroscience, Ohio State University
2006-present: Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Member, NSD-A Study Section, NINDS
Chair, NSD-A Study Section, NINDS
Scientific Advisory Council, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, now The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Scientific Advisory Board, Acorda Therapeutics, Hawthorne, NY
Scientific Advisory Board, International Neurotrauma Society
Member, COBRE Grant External Advisory Board, University of Louisville
California Primate Research Consortium
Member, Internal Advisory Board, Integrative Study of Brain Vascular Malformations, UCSF
Editorial Boards: Journal of Neurotrauma, Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience

Selected Recent Publications

Downing TL, Wang A, Yan ZQ, Nout Y, Lee AL, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Farmer DL, Li S. Drug-eluting microfibrous patches for the local delivery of rolipram in spinal cord repair. J Control Release 2012;161(3):910-917.

Stück ED, Christensen RN, Huie JR, Tovar CA, Miller BA, Nout YS, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS, Ferguson AR. Tumor necrosis factor alpha mediates GABA(A) receptor trafficking to the plasma membrane of spinal cord neurons in vivo. Neural Plast 2012;2012:261345.

Gensel JC, Tovar CA, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Topiramate treatment is neuroprotective and reduces oligodendrocyte loss after cervical spinal cord injury. PLoS One 2012;7(3):e33519.

Nout YS, Rosenzweig ES, Brock JH, Strand SC, Moseanko R, Hawbecker S, Zdunowski S, Nielson JL, Roy RR, Courtine G, Ferguson AR, Edgerton VR, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Tuszynski MH. Animal models of neurologic disorders: a nonhuman primate model of spinal cord injury. Neurotherapeutics 2012;9(2):380-92.

Sorani MD, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. A Quantitative Analysis of Clinical Trial Designs in Spinal Cord Injury Based on ICCP Guidelines. J Neurotrauma 2012;29(9):1736-46.

Nout YS, Ferguson AR, Strand SC, Moseanko R, Hawbecker S, Zdunowski S, Nielson JL, Roy RR, Zhong H, Rosenzweig ES, Brock JH, Courtine G, Edgerton VR, Tuszynski MH, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Methods for Functional Assessment After C7 Spinal Cord Hemisection in the Rhesus Monkey. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print].

Saadai P, Nout YS, Encinas J, Wang A, Downing TL, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Li S, Farmer DL. Prenatal repair of myelomeningocele with aligned nanofibrous scaffolds-a pilot study in sheep. J Pediatr Surg 2011;46(12):2279-83.

Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Spinal cord injury: taking a detour to recovery (Commentary on Schnell et al.). Eur J Neurosci 2011;34(8):1254-5.

Veiga S, Ly J, Chan PH, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. SOD1 overexpression improves features of the oligodendrocyte precursor response in vitro. Neurosci Lett 2011;503(1):10-4.

Nout YS, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Severity of locomotor and cardiovascular derangements after experimental high-thoracic spinal cord injury is anesthesia dependent in rats. J Neurotrauma 2012;29(5):990-9.

Irvine KA, Ferguson AR, Mitchell KD, Beattie SB, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. A novel method for assessing proximal and distal forelimb function in the rat: the Irvine, Beatties and Bresnahan (IBB) forelimb scale. J Vis Exp 2010;(46). pii: 2246.

Rosenzweig ES, Courtine G, Jindrich DL, Brock JH, Ferguson AR, Strand SC, Nout YS, Roy RR, Miller DM, Beattie MS, Havton LA, Bresnahan JC, Edgerton VR, Tuszynski MH. Extensive spontaneous plasticity of corticospinal projections after primate spinal cord injury. Nat Neurosci 2010;13(12):1505-10.

Nout YS, Culp E, Schmidt MH, Tovar CA, Pröschel C, Mayer-Pröschel M, Noble MD, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Glial restricted precursor cell transplant with cyclic adenosine monophosphate improved some autonomic functions but resulted in a reduced graft size after spinal cord contusion injury in rats. Exp Neurol 2011;227(1):159-71.

Beattie MS, Ferguson AR, Bresnahan JC. AMPA-receptor trafficking and injury-induced cell death. Eur J Neurosci 2010;32(2):290-7.

Sun F, Lin CL, McTigue D, Shan X, Tovar CA, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Effects of axon degeneration on oligodendrocyte lineage cells: dorsal rhizotomy evokes a repair response while axon degeneration rostral to spinal contusion induces both repair and apoptosis. Glia 2010;58(11):1304-19.

Kwon BK, Okon EB, Tsai E, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Magnuson DK, Reier PJ, McTigue DM, Popovich PG, Blight AR, Oudega M, Guest JD, Weaver LC, Fehlings MG, Tetzlaff W. A grading system to evaluate objectively the strength of pre-clinical data of acute neuroprotective therapies for clinical translation in spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma 2011;28(8):1525-43.

Nout YS, Mihai G, Tovar CA, Schmalbrock P, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Hypertonic saline attenuates cord swelling and edema in experimental spinal cord injury: a study utilizing magnetic resonance imaging. Crit Care Med 2009;37(7):2160-6.

Miller BA, Crum JM, Tovar CA, Ferguson AR, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Developmental stage of oligodendrocytes determines their response to activated microglia in vitro. J Neuroinflammation 2007;4(1):28 [E-pub ahead of print].
Nout YS, Bresnahan JC, Culp E, Tovar CA, Beattie MS, Schmidt MH. Novel technique for monitoring micturition and sexual function in male rats using telemetry. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2007;292(3):R1359-67.
Christensen RN, Ha BK, Sun F, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. Kainate induces rapid redistribution of the actin cytoskeleton in ameboid microglia. J Neurosci Res 2006;84(1):170-81.
Nout YS, Leedy GM, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Alterations in eliminative and sexual reflexes after spinal cord injury: defecatory function and development of spasticity in pelvic floor musculature [Review]. Prog Brain Res 2006;152:359-72.
Gensel JC, Tovar CA, Hamers FP, Deibert RJ, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Behavioral and histological characterization of unilateral cervical spinal cord contusion injury in rats. J Neurotrauma 2006;23(1):36-54.
Nout YS, Schmidt MH, Tovar CA, Culp E, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Telemetric monitoring of corpus spongiosum penis pressure in conscious rats for assessment of micturition and sexual function following spinal cord contusion injury. J Neurotrauma 2005;22(4):429-41.
Holmes GM, Van Meter MJ, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. Serotonergic fiber sprouting to external anal sphincter motoneurons after spinal cord contusion. Exp Neurol 2005;193(1):29-42.
Miller BA, Sun F, Christensen RN, Ferguson AR, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS. A sublethal dose of TNFalpha potentiates kainate-induced excitotoxicity in optic nerve oligodendrocytes. Neurochem Res 2005;30(6-7):867-75.
Ferguson AR, Hook MA, Garcia G, Bresnahan JC, Beattie MS, Grau JW. A simple post hoc transformation that improves the metric properties of the BBB scale for rats with moderate to severe spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma 2004;21(11):1601-13.