Shaun W. Carlson, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor

Shaun Carlson, PhD, joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in October of 2017.

Dr. Carlson graduated from the University of Kansas in 2007 with a bachelor of science degree in cell biology. He earned his PhD in physiology in 2013 from the University of Kentucky, studying the effects of traumatic brain injury on hippocampal neurogenesis and the efficacy of a growth factor based therapeutic approach to promote neurogenic plasticity and functional recovery after brain injury. He continued his training in 2013 as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction and plasticity and the identification of therapeutic approaches to promote recovery following brain injury.

Professional Organization Membership

American Heart Association
National Neurotrauma Society
Society for Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • BSc, Cell Biology, University of Kansas, 2007
  • PhD, Physiology, University of Kentucky, 2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, 2017

Honors & Awards

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH), 2015-17
  • Nancy Caroline Fellow Award, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research, 2016
  • Murray Goldstein Award of Excellence, National Neurotrauma Symposium, 2013
  • Anthony Marmarou Award of Excellence, National Neurotrauma Symposium, 2012
  • Brian J. Hardin Award for Research, Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky, 2008

Selected Publications

Carlson SW, Henchir J, CE Dixon. Lateral fluid percussion injury impairs hippocampal synaptic soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex formation. Front Neurol 8:532, 2017.

Mir S, Cai W, Carlson SW, Saatman KE, Andres DA. IGF-1 mediated neurogenesis involves a novel Rit1/Akt/Sox2 cascade. Sci Rep 7(1):3283, 2017.

Carlson SW, Yan HQ, CE Dixon. Lithium increases hippocampal SNARE protein abundance after traumatic brain injury. Exp Neurol 289:55-63, 2017.

Carlson SW, Yan H, Ma M, Li Y, Henchir J, Dixon CE. Traumatic Brain Injury Impairs Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Attachment Protein Receptor Complex Formation and Alters Synaptic Vesicle Distribution in the Hippocampus. J Neurotrauma 1:33(1):113-21, 2016.

Kochanek PM, Jackson TC, Ferguson NM, Carlson SW, Simon DW, Brockman EC, Ji J, Bayir H, Poloyac SM, Wagner AK, Kline AE, Empey PE, Clark RB, Jackson EK, Dixon CE. Emerging Therapies in Traumatic Brain Injury. Semin Neurol33(1):113-21, 2015.

Carlson SW, Madathil SK, Gao X, Chen J, Saatman KE. Conditional overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-1 enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and restores immature neuron dendritic processes after traumatic brain injury. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 73(8):734-46, 2014.

Madathil SK, Carlson SW, Brelsfoard JM, Ye P, D’Ercole JD, Saatman KE. Astrocyte-specific overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-1 protects hippocampal neurons following traumatic brain injury in mice. PLoS ONE 8(6):e67204, 2013.

Cai W, Carlson SW, Brelsfoard JM, Mannon CE, Moncman CL, Saatman KE, Andres DE. Rit GTPase signaling promotes immature hippocampal neuronal survival. J Neurosci 32(29):9887-97, 2012.

Pleasant, JM, SW Carlson, H Mao, SW Scheff, K Yang, KE Saatman. Rate of neurodegeneration in the mouse controlled cortical impact model is influenced by impactor tip shape: Implications for mechanistic and therapeutic studies. J Neurotrauma 28(11):2245-62, 2011.

Carlson SW, Branden M, Voss K, Sun Q, Rankin CA, Gamblin TC. A complex mechanism for inducer mediated tau polymerization. Biochemistry 46(30):8838-49, 2007.