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Thaddeus S. Nowak, PhD

Professor and Director of Research
Department of Neurology
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center 855 Monroe Avenue, Room 415
Memphis, TN 38163
Tel: 901.448.7384
Fax: 901.448.7440
Email: Thaddeus S. Nowak


  • PhD Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Postdoctoral: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Laboratory of Neuropathology and Neuroanatomical Sciences

Research Interests

Investigations generally focus on the study of brain injury after ischemic insults in animal models. A past interest in selective neuron vulnerability after brief global ischemia has shifted to a recent emphasis on focal brain ischemia (experimental stroke). One area of current research examines protective effects of brain cooling. Recent evidence indicates the particular benefit of temperature reduction at the time of recirculation following transient ischemia, suggesting its potential therapeutic relevance in the context of "reperfusion injury." As a practical spin-off of these studies, the widely used approach to producing experimental stroke by intraluminal filament occlusion has been refined to avoid confounding effects on temperature regulation. A second research focus examines endogenous defense mechanisms activated following prior insults (preconditioning). Although widespread changes in gene expression occur in response to preconditioning insults, ongoing studies indicate that such protection in focal ischemia models arises via synergistic effects on the fundamental parameters of brain blood flow and metabolism. This has led to a new interest in vascular regulation and its response to brain injury.

Representative Publications

  • Nowak TS Jr, Mulligan MK. Impact of C57BL/6 substrain on sex-dependent differences in mouse stroke models. Neurochem Int. 2019 Jul;127:12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2018.11.011. Epub 2018 Nov 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 30448566.
  • Zhao L, Mulligan MK, Nowak TS Jr. Substrain- and sex-dependent differences in stroke vulnerability in C57BL/6 mice. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2019 Mar;39(3):426-438. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17746174. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 29260927; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6421252.
  • Kudo K, Zhao L, Nowak TS Jr. Peri-infarct depolarizations during focal ischemia in the awake Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat. Minimizing anesthesia confounds in experimental stroke. Neuroscience. 2016 Jun 14;325:142-52. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.049. Epub 2016 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 27026594; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4849551.
  • Zhao L, Nowak TS Jr. Preconditioning cortical lesions reduce the incidence of peri-infarct depolarizations during focal ischemia in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat: interaction with prior anesthesia and the impact of hyperglycemia. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2015 Jul;35(7):1181-90. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2015.37. Epub 2015 Mar 11. PubMed PMID: 25757750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4640273.
  • Takeda Y, Zhao L, Jacewicz M, Pulsinelli WA, Nowak TS Jr. Metabolic and perfusion responses to recurrent peri-infarct depolarization during focal ischemia in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat: dominant contribution of sporadic CBF decrements to infarct expansion. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Sep;31(9):1863-73. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2011.62. Epub 2011 Apr 27. PubMed PMID: 21522165; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3185883.
  • Zhao Y, Xiao J, Ueda M, Wang Y, Hines M, Nowak TS Jr, LeDoux MS. Glial elements contribute to stress-induced torsinA expression in the CNS and peripheral nervous system. Neuroscience. 2008 Aug 13;155(2):439-53. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.04.053. Epub 2008 May 6. PubMed PMID: 18538941; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2596935. X

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May 26, 2022