Advisory Board

Dr. Mitra Lavasani

Mitra Lavasani, Ph.D. is Director of the Translational Cell Therapy Lab, Research Scientist at Shirley Ryan Abilitylab, and an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Her work led to the groundbreaking discovery that transplantation of unique multipotent adult stem cells, isolated from the skeletal muscle of young mice, tripled the lifespan and the “healthspan” of old mice. This remarkable finding led to a prestigious publication in Nature Communications and a U.S. patent. Read Muscle-derived stem/progenitor cell dysfunction limits healthspan and lifespan in a murine progeria model.

Her research focuses on identifying effective therapeutic interventions for muscle, vasculature, peripheral nerve, and the brain, using adult stem cells and/or their secreted stimulators and protective factors to prevent, alleviate, or reverse neurodegeneration associated with human disease, injury, and aging.

Her laboratory is an interdisciplinary environment dedicated to scientific innovation and clinical translation.

Their experimental approaches include in vitro manipulation of adult stem cells and their therapeutic transplantation into clinically relevant animal models, immunohistochemistry labeling of cells and tissues to understand better mechanisms of functional improvement, and novel methods of the whole animal in vivo imaging to track transplanted cell migration and engraftment.

Their long-term goal is to translate the knowledge from their findings to better assist patients with neuromuscular diseases, injuries, and aging-related pathologies.

Mitra has been a Member of the American Aging Association (AGE) since 2022, the Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS) since 2019, the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) since 2011, and an AAAS Science Member since 2008.

She received The Sarah Baskin Outstanding Research Award, as a Junior Physician and Scientist in 2020, and was featured on the June 2021 Cover Art of the Journal of Aging and Disease with Systemic Transplantation of Adult Multipotent Stem Cells Functionally Rejuvenates Aged Articular Cartilage.

In August 2022, Mitra was awarded NIH’s Prestigious R01 grant that will advance a novel approach to understand how systemically injected stem cells can delay onset of neuromuscular diseases and syndromes related to aging. Read Dr. Mitra Lavasani Earns Prestigious R01 Grant from NIH.

Mitra earned her Ph.D. in 2008 and her Master’s Degree of Science in 2005 from the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1998, Mitra earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Molecular Biology and Systems Physiology from San Jose State University.

After her Ph.D., Mitra became a Postdoctoral Associate at the Stem Cell Research Center (SCRC), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She continued her Research in 2010 as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and in 2015, she became Research Scientist at Shirley Ryan and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.

Read Biologic Strategies to Improve Nerve Regeneration after Peripheral Nerve Repair and Venous Graft-Derived Cells Participate in Peripheral Nerve Regeneration.

Read Adult Muscle-Derived Stem Cells Rescue Progeria Stem Cell Dysfunction and Promote Angiogenesis, Mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles reduce senescence and extend health span in mouse models of aging, and Systemic transplantation of adult multipotent stem cells prevents articular cartilage degeneration in a mouse model of accelerated ageing.

Visit her LinkedIn profile and NIH profile. Follow her at Google Scholar, Academic Tree, and ResearchGate.