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Lisa Flanagan

Stem Cell Research Center, Neurology

Associate Professor, Neurology

School of Medicine 

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Neuroscience

Phone: (949) 824-5786

Fax: (949) 824-0264


University of California, Irvine

845 Health Sciences Rd.

3030 Gross Hall

Mail Code: 1705

Irvine, CA 92697


stem cells, neural, embryonic, neuron
Dr. Flanagan’s research program combines the fields of neural cell biology and bioengineering to address issues critical to the successful transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) for the repair of injured or diseased central nervous system (CNS) tissue.  As such, her lab is investigating factors that affect the differentiation of NSCs into the three CNS lineages (neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes) and exploring means to direct fate decisions of transplanted or endogenous cells for optimal repair and regeneration.  Dr. Flanagan’s lab has taken two complementary approaches to these problems.  In one, they are developing novel non-invasive methods to identify the fate potential of undifferentiated stem cells with the goal of isolating cells biased to a particular fate. In the other, they investigate the role of extracellular matrix cues in regulating the behavior of NSCs in order to generate instructive three-dimensional matrices for NSC transplantation.  Their goal is to achieve greater control over the differentiation of transplanted stem cells to unravel the contributions of each cell type to effective repair and potentially maximize functional recovery.  These studies have clinical applications for the treatment of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and spinal cord injury.
Publications Last 5 years of publications
  Arulmoli, J., H.J. Wright, D.T.T. Phan, U. Sheth, R.A. Que, G.A. Botten, M. Keating, E.L. Botvinick, M.M. Pathak, T.I. Zarembinski, D.S. Yanni, O.V. Razorenova, C.C.W. Hughes, L.A. Flanagan. Combination scaffolds of salmon fibrin, hyaluronic acid, and laminin for human neural stem cell and vascular tissue engineering. Acta Biomaterialia 43: 122-138, 2016.
  Wright, H.J., J. Arulmoli, M. Motazedi, L.J. Nelson, F.S. Heinemann, L.A. Flanagan, O.V. Razorenova. CDCP1 cleavage is necessary for homodimerization-induced migration of triple-negative breast cancer. Oncogene 35 (36): 4762-72, 2016.
  Phan, L., R. Kautz, J. Arulmoli, I.H. Kim, D.T. Le, M.A. Shenk, M.M. Pathak, L.A. Flanagan, F. Tombola, A.A. Gorodetsky. Reflectin as a material for neural stem cell growth. Applied Materials & Interfaces 8 (1): 278-84, 2016.
  Arulmoli, J., M.M. Pathak, L.P. McDonnell, J.L. Nourse, F. Tombola, J.C. Earthman, L.A. Flanagan. Static stretch affects neural stem cell differentiation in an extracellular matrix-dependent manner. Scientific Reports 5: 8499, 2015. 
Featured Publication, Neural Cell News, 9.06, February 18, 2015
  Simon, M.G., Y. Li, J. Arulmoli, L.P. McDonnell, A. Akil, J.L. Nourse, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Increasing label-free stem cell sorting capacity to reach transplantation-scale throughput. Biomicrofluidics 8(6): 064106, 2014.
  Pathak, M.M., J.L. Nourse, T. Tran, J. Hwe, J. Arulmoli, D.T. Le, E. Bernardis, L.A. Flanagan, F. Tombola. Stretch-activated ion channel Piezo1 directs lineage choice in human neural stem cells. PNAS 111(45): 16148-16153, 2014.
  Bonaventura, G., M.L. Barcellona, O. Golfetto, J.L. Nourse, L.A. Flanagan, E. Gratton. Laurdan monitors different lipid content in eukaryotic membranes during embryonic neural development. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics 70(2): 785-794, 2014.
  Nourse, J.L., J.L. Prieto, A.R. Dickson, J. Lu, M.M. Pathak, F. Tombola, M. Demetriou, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Membrane biophysics define neuron and astrocyte progenitors in the neural lineage. Stem Cells 32(3): 706-16, 2014.
Featured Publication, Neural Cell News, 7.37, September 18, 2013
  Stringari, C., J.L. Nourse, L.A. Flanagan, E. Gratton. Phasor fluorescence lifetime microscopy of free and protein-bound NADH reveals neural stem cell differentiation potential. In press, PLoS One, 2012.
  Lu, J., C.C. Barrios, A.R. Dickson, J.L. Nourse, A.P. Lee, L.A. Flanagan. Advancing practical usage of microtechnology: a study of the functional consequences of dielectrophoresis on neural stem cells. Integrative Biology 4(10): 1223-36, 2012.
  Prieto, J.L., J. Lu, J.L. Nourse, L.A. Flanagan, A.P. Lee. Frequency discretization in dielectrophoretic assisted cell sorting arrays to isolate neural cells. In press, Lab on a Chip, DOI: 10.1039/c2lc21184j, 2012.
  Sharp, K.G., A.R. Dickson, S.A. Marchenko, K.M. Yee, P.N. Emery, I. Laidmäe, R. Uibo, E.S. Sawyer, O. Steward, L.A. Flanagan. Salmon fibrin treatment of spinal cord injury promotes functional recovery and density of serotonergic innervation. Experimental Neurology 235(1): 345-56, 2012.
  Labeed, F.H., J. Lu, H.J. Mulhall, S.A. Marchenko, K.F. Hoettges, L.C. Estrada, A.P. Lee, M.P. Hughes, L.A. Flanagan. Biophysical characteristics reveal neural stem cell differentiation potential. PLoS ONE 6(9):e25458, 2011. In top 10% most cited articles in PLOS ONE as of June 2017.
  Flanagan, L.A., J. Lu, L. Wang, S.A. Marchenko, N. Jeon, A.P. Lee, E.S. Monuki. Unique dielectric properties distinguish stem cells and their differentiated progeny. Stem Cells 26(3): 656-665, 2008.
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Society for Neuroscience
Other Experience  
Graduate Programs Cellular and Molecular Biosciences

Biomedical Engineering

Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program

Research Center Stem Cell Research Center