Ellen M. Andrews, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Midwestern University
College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Dental Medicine Illinois
Department of Anatomy 

Secretary, Chicago Society for Neuroscience http://www.chicagosfn.org

Science Hall, 542-L
555 31st St.
Downers Grove, IL, 60515

Office: (630) 515-6136
e-mail: eandre@midwestern.edu


Ph.D. Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy Loyola University Chicago 2007
M.S. Biology (Physiology) The University of Akron 1999
B.S. Biology Walsh University 1996


My research interests lie in understanding central nervous system injury and repair. 

Project 1: Changes in the Extracellular Matrix After CNS Injury

My focus is on the role that components of the extracellular matrix, particularly chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), play in both injury and repair, in areas distal to the injury site.  The extracellular matrix is a dynamic structure in the central nervous system, and can foster both growth promotion and growth inhibition.  After spinal cord injury, areas distal to the lesion site have great amounts of inflammation, gliosis and changes to the extracellular matrix (Andrews, 2012).  Furthermore, we have shown that following stroke, neurons present the opposite, uninjured cortex can remodel and send collaterals to areas that were denervated by the stroke. This remodeling is correlated with an increase in motor ability (Andrews, 2008). Current studies in the lab are investiging inflammation, gliosis and changes to CSPGs following stroke in the opposite, uninjured cortex.

Project 2: Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency on CNS Injury

Vitamin D Deficiency is a global issue that leads to increased morbidity due to a variety of disease processes. Vitamin D deficiency is correlated with increased autoimmune disease, hypertension and diabetes (as reviewed by Wimalawansa SJ, 2016). The majority of circulating Vitamin D (80-90%) is produced by exposure to sunlight. Seasonal changes in sunlight exposure, limited time spent outdoors, regional and racial differences all contribute to Vitamin D deficiency. A recent clinical study revealed that patients with optimal vitamin D levels one week after stroke had the best functional outcomes three months post-stroke, while patients with vitamin D deficiency had the poorest outcomes (Park et al., 2015). Using a rodent model of vitamin D deficiency, my lab is studying the effects of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on recovery of function after stroke. 


Kinematic analysis of motor recovery with human adult bone marrow-derived somatic cell therapy in a rat model of stroke.  Braun RG, Andrews EM, Kartje GL. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Sep;26(7):898-906.

Alterations in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan expression occur both at and far from the site of spinal contusion injury. Andrews EM, Richards RJ, Yin FQ, Viapiano MS, Jakeman LB. Exp Neurol. 2012 May;235(1):174-87.

Human adult bone marrow-derived somatic cell therapy results in functional recovery and axonal plasticity following stroke in the rat. Andrews EM, Tsai SY, Johnson SC, Farrer JR, Wagner JP, Kopen GC, Kartje GL. Exp Neurol. 2008 Jun;211(2):588-925.

Delayed treatment with monoclonal antibody IN-1 1 week after stroke results in recovery of function and corticorubral plasticity in adult rats. Seymour AB*, Andrews EM*, Tsai SY, Markus TM, Bollnow MR, Brenneman MM, O'Brien TE, Castro AJ, Schwab ME, Kartje GL. *Equal contribution. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Oct;25(10):1366-75.