Nafisa M Jadavji, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Glendale, AZ

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Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji is a Neuroscientist. She is an Assistant Professor at Midwestern University and Research Professor at Carleton University. In 2012, she completed her doctoral training at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.  Her laboratory investigates how the brain responds to different biological processes throughout the lifespan. More specifically, her lab studies the brain, maternal nutrition contributions to offspring neurodevelopment, neurological diseases (e.g. stroke and vascular dementia), and aging.  Dr. Jadavji’s research has been published in Biochemical Journal, Neuroendocrinology, Experimental Neurology, Journal of Neuroscience, Human Molecular Genetics, Nutrition reviews, Toxicological Science, European Journal of Neuroscience, Neural Regeneration Research, and Neurobiology of Disease. Dr. Jadavji has received funding from the American Heart Association (US), Federation of European Neuroscience Society (Europe), NeuroWIND (Germany), Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Science & Engineering Research Council (Canada), International Brain Research Organization, Parkinson's disease Foundation (US), Burroughs Wellcome Fund (US) and Fonds de la recherché en santé Québec (Canada). Dr. Jadavji is an Editorial member for Frontiers in Nutrition and Neuroscience (Associate Editor) and Metabolites (Review Editor) journals. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Journal of Young Investigators (JYI) and Chair of the Advisory Board for Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E).

Assistant Professor

Glendale, AZ

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Graduate Studies - AZ
College of Veterinary Medicine

Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences (M.A.)
Biomedical Sciences (M.B.S.)
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
Master of Science in Precision Medicine
Post-Graduate Certificate in Precision Medicine

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McGill University | 2012 | Ph.D.
University of Lethbridge | 2008 | M.SC
University of Lethbridge | 2006 | B.Sc.

Courses Taught

BMMAG/BMMSG 554 Molecular Cell Biology

BMMSG 607 Journal Club

BMMSG 863 Neuroscience

BMMSG 891 Advanced Topics I: Science Communication (Fall 2022)

PUBHG 814 Public Health Nutrition Content

PMMSG 802 Application of Precision Medicine to Neurological Disease


The majority of the world’s population is growing older, in 2000, 10% of the total population of the world was over 60 years old, and is projected to increase to 21% by 2050 (United Nations, 2015) . The single most important societal threat to the ageing population is the cognitive decline resulting in loss of dignity, independence, and enormous pressure for resources. What we eat, our nutrition, is modifiable risk factor for diseases of aging. As people age their ability to get adequate amount of nutrition from our diets decreases.

The Jadavji Laboratory at Midwestern University investigates neurological diseases of aging. Our translational research uses model systems to understand functional outcome, mechanisms, and potential therapeutics.

We use an interdisciplinary approach to tackle these complicated human diseases. Using both in vitro and in vivo tools, the Jadavji laboratory investigates the pathogenesis and mechanisms associated with diseases of aging, as well as comorbidity interactions, and finally investigate theraputic options for diseases of aging that could potentially be translated to human patients.

Please visit for more details about our research group!


Graduate and undergraduate trainees are italicized, *denotes corresponding author, +denotes shared first authorship


Poole J, Jasbi J, Pascual AS, North S, Kwatra N, Weissig V, Gu H, Bottiglieri T, Jadavji NM. Ischemic stroke and dietary vitamin B12 deficiency in old-aged females impaired motor function, increased ischemic damage size, and changed metabolite profiles in brain and cecum tissue. Nutrients, 14(14), 2960. PMID: 35889916

Yahn GB, Wasek B, Bottiglieri T,  Malysheva O, Caudill MA, Jadavji NM. (2021) A dietary vitamin B12 deficiency impairs motor function and changes neuronal survival and choline metabolism after ischemic stroke to the sensorimotor cortex in middle aged male and female mice. PREPRINT

Yahn GB, Leoncio J, Jadavji NM* The role of dietary supplementation of one-carbon metabolism on stroke outcome. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: In Press (invited)

Yahn GB, Abato JE, Jadavji NM*. (2021) Role of vitamin B12 deficiency in ischemic stroke risk and outcome. Neural Regen Res 16(3):470-474. (invited) PMID: 32985467 

Burgess K, Bennett C, Mosnier H, Kwatra N, Bethel B, Jadavji NM*. (2020) The antioxidant role of one-carbon metabolism on stroke. Antioxidants. 9(11):1141 (invited) PMID: 33212887

Abato JE, Moftah M, Cron GO, Smith PD, Jadavji NM*. (2020) Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency alters cellular response after ischemic stroke in male mice. Nutritional Neuroscience. PMID: 32448097

Jadavji NM*, Mosnier H, Kelly E, Lawrence K, Cruickshank S, Stacey S, McCall A, Dhatt S, Arning E, Bottiglieri T, Smith PD (2019) One-carbon metabolism supplementation improves outcome after stroke in aged male MTHFR-deficient mice. Neurobiology of disease. 132, 104613. PMID: 3152543

Jadavji NM*, Emmerson JT, Shanmugalingam U, Willmore WG, MacFarlane AJ, Smith P. (2018) MTHFR-deficiency increases vulnerability to stroke: in vitro and in vivo. Experimental Neurology, 309:14-22. PMID: 30055159.

Emmerson JT, Murray LK, Jadavji NM*. (2017) Impact of one-carbon metabolism on neural regeneration in the central nervous system. Neural Regeneration,12: 1-2. (invited). PMID: 28852387.

Jadavji NM*, Emmerson JE, Willmore WG, MacFarlane AJ, Smith PD. (2017) B-vitamin and choline supplementation increases neuroplasticity and recovery after stroke. Neurobiology of disease, 103:89-100. PMID: 28396257.

Maternal nutrition contributions on offspring neurological health

Virdi S, Jadavji NM* (2022) The impact of maternal folates on brain development and function after birth. Metabolites 12(9): 876 (IF = 5.581) (Invited).

Pull K, Folk R, Kang J, Jackson S, Gusek B, Esfandiarei M, Jadavji NM. (2022) Maternal dietary choline deficiencies during pregnancy and lactation reduce cerebral blood flow in 3-month-old female mice offspring following ischemic stroke to the sensorimotor cortex. PREPRINT

Al Rubaye H, Adamson C, Jadavji NM*. (2020) The role of maternal diet on offspring gut microbiota development. Journal of Neuroscience Research. PMID 32112450

Murray LK, Smith MJ, Jadavji NM. (2018) Maternal over supplementation with folic acid and its impact on neurodevelopment of offspring. Nutrition Reviews. 76:708-721. PMID: 30010929.

Jadavji NM*. (2017) The integrated stress response is not a target for diffuse white matter injury in premature infants. Journal of Neuroscience, 37: 11772-1173. PMID: 29212946.

Bahous R, Jadavji NM, Deng L, Cosin-Tomas M, Lu J, Malysheva O, Leung KY, Ho MK, Pallas M, Kaliman P, Greene NDE, Bedell BJ, Caudill MA, Rozen R. (2017) High dietary folate in pregnant mice leads to pseudo-MTHFR deficiency and altered methyl metabolism, with embryonic growth delay and short-term memory impairment in offspring. Human Molecular Genetics, 26:888-900. PMID: 28069796.

Jadavji NM, Malysheva O, Caudill MA, Rozen R. (2015) MTHFR deficiency or reduced intake of folate or choline in pregnant mice results in impaired short-term memory and increased apoptosis in hippocampus in wild-type offspring. Neuroscience, 300: 1-9. PMID: 25956258.


Bennett C, Green J, Ciancio M, Goral J, Pitstick L, Pytynia M, Meyer A, Kwatra N, Jadavji NM*. Dietary folic acid deficiency impacts hippocampal morphology and cortical acetylcholine metabolism in adult male and female mice. Nutritional Neuroscience: In Press. DOI: 10.1080/1028415X.2021.1932242 PMID: 34042561 

Prieur EAK, Pjetri E, Ziesel S, Jadavji NM*. (2017) BHMT-deficiency results in brain atrophy and impairs memory in mice. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 42:1228-1231. PMID: 28715642.

Jadavji NM*, Wieske F, Dirgnal U, Winter C. (2015) Methylenetetrahydrfolate reductase deficiency alters levels of monoamine neurotransmitters, glutamate and gamma aminobutyric acid in brain tissue. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism and Genetics Reports, 3:1-4. PMID: 26937386.

Jadavji NM, Bahous R, Deng L, Wang XL, Malysheva O, Caudill MA, Bedell BJ, Rozen R. (2014) A mouse model for genetic variation in methionine synthase reductase exhibits mild hyperhomocysteinemia, short-term memory impairment and biochemical changes in hippocampus. Biochemical Journal, 461:205-12. PMID: 24800750.

Jadavji NM, Deng L, Leclerc D, Malysheva O, Caudill MA, Bedell BJ, Rozen R. (2012) Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency in mice impairs motor and cognitive function, with morphological and neurobiochemical changes in cerebellum and hippocampus. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 106:149-159. PMID: 22521626.

Parkinson’s disease

Murray LK, Jadavji NM*. (2019). The role of B-vitamin metabolism in Parkinson’s disease onset, pathology, and mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews, 32 (2), 218-230. PMID: 31303188

Jadavji NM*, Murray LK, Emmerson JT, Rudyk CA, Hayley S, Smith PD. (2019) A genetic deficiency in one-carbon metabolism increases oxidative stress in a mouse mode of Parkinson’s disease. Toxicological Sciences. 169:25-33. PMID: 30726997.

Jadavji NM, Metz GA. (2009) Both pre- and post-treatment with experiential therapy is beneficial in 6-OHDA dopamine-depleted rat. Neuroscience, 158:373-86. PMID: 19032978.

Jadavji NM, Kolb B and Metz GA. (2006) Enriched environment improves motor function in intact and dopamine-depleted rats: implications for Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience, 140: 1127-1138. (IF = 3.327). PMID: 1667892.

Vascular Dementia

Dam K, Füchtemeier M, Farr TD, Boehm-Strum P, Foddis M, Dirnagl U, Jadavji NM*. (2017) Deficiencies in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and dietary folic acid alter choline metabolism during chronic hypoperfusion. Behavioral Brain Research, 321:201-208. PMID: 28087280.

Jadavji NM*, Farr TD, Lips L, Khalil A, Boehm-Sturm P, Harms C, Foddis M, Füchtemeier M, Dirnagl. (2015) Elevated levels of homocysteine, deficiencies in folic acid and uracil-DNA glycosylase impair learning in a mouse model of vascular cognitive impairment. Behavioural Brain Research, 283: 215-226. PMID: 2565513.

Early Career Research Advocacy & Scientific Rigor

Auer S, Haelterman NA, Weissgerber TL, Erlich JC, Susilaradeya D, Julkowska M, Gazda MA, Reproducibility for Everyone Team, Schwessinger B*, Jadavji NM (2021) Reproducibility for everyone: a community-led initiative with global reach in reproducible research training. eLife: In Press 

Sarabipour  S, Hainer SJ, Arslan FN, Winde CM, Furlong E, Bielczyk N, Jadavji NM, Shah AP, Davla S, Asby N. (2021) Building and sustaining mentor interactions as a mentee. The FEBS Journal: In Press PMID: 33818917

Sarabipour S+, Hainer SJ+, Furlong  E+, Jadavji NM+, de Winde CM, Bielczyk N, Shah AP. TWriting an effective and supportive recommendation letter.  The FEBS journal: In Press  PMID: 33665964

de Winde CM, Sarabipour S, Carignano H, Davla D, Eccles D, Hainer SJ, Haidar M, Iiangovan V, Jadavji NM, Kritsiligkou, Lee TY Olafsdottir, Symmons O. Towards inclusive funding practices for early career researchers. Journal of Science Policy and Governance (In Press)

Fernandes JD, Sarabipor A, Smith CT, Niemi NM, Jadavji NM, Kozik AJ, Holehouse AS, Pejaver V, Symmons O, Filho AWB, Haage A. Research Culture: A survey-based analysis of the academic job market. eLife. 9: e54097. PMID: 32530420

Van Benthem K, Corker C, Inoue J, Adi MN, Jadavji NM (2021) The changing postdoc and key predictors of satisfaction with professional training. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Research. 11:123-142.




Academic Parity (Advisory Board Member)

American Heart Association (member)

American Society for Nutrition (member)

Arizona Physiological Society (member)

ASAPBio (Fellow - 2021)

eLife Community (Ambassador 2019-20)

Canadian Association for Neuroscience (member)

Canadian Society in Molecular Biosciences (member)

Canadian Nutrition Society (member)

Graduate Women in Science (Vice-President)

Journal of Young Investigators (Chair, Board of Directors)

Midwestern University Alzheimer’s Advisory Committee (member)

Reproducibility for Everyone (Chair, Advisory Board)

Sigma XI (invited full member)

Society for Neuroscience (member)

World Stroke Organization (member)


Extramural Funding


Project: “Faculty Job Market Research,” Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Co-Principal Applicant, $43,700 USD. Grant Number: 1022092


Project: “Identification of developmental factors involved in ischemic stroke outcomes in adulthood and old age,” American Heart Association Research Enhancement Award (AIREA), Principal Applicant, $152, 735 USD + $31,268.16 USD (COVID-19 Supplement. Grant Number: 20AIREA35050015


Project: “Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars 2016 National Survey Grant,” Burrough’s Wellcome Fund, Principal Applicant, $5000 USD


Project: “Identification of developmental factors involved in ischemic stroke outcomes in adulthood and old age,” American Heart Association Research Enhancement Award (AIREA), Principal Applicant, $152, 735 USD. Grant Number: 20AIREA35050015


Intramural Funding


Project: “Identification of developmental factors involved in ischemic stroke outcomes in adulthood and old age,” Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium. Principal Applicant, $8510 USD.



Project: “Impact of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency on vulnerability to stroke in a mouse model,” Carleton University Development Grant, Co-Applicant, $9600 CDN


Trainee Funding


Project: “The impact of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease,” Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Master’s Award, Co-Supervisor, $17,500 CDN


Project: “Impact of MTHFR deficiency on cell viability and oxidative stress in astrocytes,” Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC): Undergraduate Student Research Award, Undergraduate, Principal Applicant, $4500 CDN


Project: “Impact of MTHFR deficiency on neuronal mechanisms,” Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Undergraduate Student Research Award, Principal Applicant, $4500 CDN


Fellowship Funding


Project: “Impact of MTHFR deficiency on neuronal and astrocyte mechanism,” National Science & Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Principal Applicant, $90,000 CDN. *Application Ranked 4/69 for Cellular and Molecular Biology Competition


Project: “Impact of genetic and dietary deficiencies in folate metabolism on stroke in a female mouse model”, Council of Ontario Universities Postdoctoral Women’s Health Scholars Fellowship, Principal Applicant, $45000 CDN


Project: “Evaluation of folate metabolism on functional behavioural assessment and mechanism in a animal model of Vascular Cognitive Impairment,” Fonds de la recherché en santé Québec (FRSQ), Principal Applicant, $135,000 CDN


2022: Outstanding Research Award for Graduate Student, Jesse Jauhal MBS

2020: National Institutes of Health, Early Career Researcher Program

2019: Publons Top Reviewer in Neuroscience and Behavior 2018-19

2018:  2nd Place Aging and Chronic Disease, Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition, American Society for Nutrition Meeting, $200 USD

2018: Finalist, Postdoctoral Competition, American Society for Nutrition Meeting, $250 USD

2016: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship: Cold Spring Harbor Scientific Writing Course, $700 USD

2016: Best Poster Presentation Award (postdoctoral level), FASEB Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, and One-Carbon Metabolism Meeting, Steamboat Springs, $500 USA

2015: Young Investigator Award, 10th International Nutrition and Diagnostics Conference, Prague, CZ

2015: Best Poster Award, Post-doctoral Association, Postdoctoral Research Day, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, $100 CDN