Dr. Cheryl Wellington

Principal Investigator

B.Sc. [Microbiology] (University of Alberta), Ph.D. [Microbiology] (University of British Columbia)
Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia


Research Interests

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Dr. Wellington may accept summer students in 2016. Please see Current Opportunities in the Lab (below).

Dr. Wellington’s major research interests are on both genetic and environmental factors that modulate risk for Alzheimer Disease (AD), the most common dementia. An increasingly recognized environment risk factor for dementia includes a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Current projects include understanding how injury severity, number of injuries, and age at injury all affect dementia risk, and understanding how the neuropathology and clinical presentation of TBI-related syndromes overlap with classical dementias. Over two million TBIs occur annually in North America, with rapidly increasing public concern over the long-term effects of concussion on brain health during development and aging. Existing animal models of TBI, however, fail to replicate the mechanics of most real-life human TBIs, which are caused by sharp, angular and/or linear accelerations or decelerations of a freely moving intact head.

Photo courtesy of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Photo courtesy of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

Working with biomechanical engineers at ICORD, Dr. Wellington and her colleagues have developed a transformative new model of rodent closed head TBI, called CHIMERA (Closed Head Injury Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration) that was specifically designed to overcome the caveats that limit the translational relevance of existing TBI models. CHIMERA’s innovation lies in its ability to generate, in a biomechanically controlled and reproducible manner, a wide range of TBI severity with completely free head movement, where head motion analyses are integrated with behavioral and neuropathological outcomes.


Current Lab Members

Ph.D. Students Post-Doctoral Fellows
Wai Hang Cheng (Tom) Kris Martens
Emily Button Jerome Robert
Dhananjay Namjoshi Jianjia Fan
Sophie Stukas Qingchun Mu
 Asma Bashir Dhananjay Namjoshi

Current Opportunities in the Lab

Dr. Wellington may accept a 3rd or 4th year summer student for 2016. Student should be majoring in neurosciences or engineering. Contact Dr. Wellington to apply.

Recent publications

  • Vonder Haar, C et al.. 2017. Frontal TBI increases impulsive decision making in rats: A potential role for the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-12.. J. Neurotrauma. doi: 10.1089/neu.2016.4813.
  • Namjoshi, DR et al.. 2017. Defining the biomechanical and biological threshold of murine mild traumatic brain injury using CHIMERA (Closed Head Impact Model of Engineered Rotational Acceleration).. Exp. Neurol. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2017.03.003.
  • Fan, J et al.. 2016. Identification of a Chrysanthemic Ester as an Apolipoprotein E Inducer in Astrocytes.. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162384.
  • Wellington, CL, Frikke-Schmidt, R. 2016. Relation between plasma and brain lipids.. Curr. Opin. Lipidol. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000291.
  • Zhang, S et al.. 2016. Distinct roles for metalloproteinases during traumatic brain injury.. Neurochem. Int. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2016.02.013.
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