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’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 Masters Students Postdoctoral Fellows Research Staff
Asma Bashir Wenchen Zhao Wai Hang Cheng (Tom) Anna Wilkinson
Emily Button Jasmine Gill Jerome Robert Sophie Stukas
Carlos Barron
Tara Caffrey
Andrew Agbay

Trainee Awards

Year Name Award
2016 Iva Kulic Weston Brain Institute Rapid Response Grant (Weston Brain Institute)
2016 Jerome Robert Weston Brain Institute Rapid Response Grant (Weston Brain Institute)
2016 Emily Button Top 3% of CIHR Doctoral Award (CIHR)
2016 Asma Bashir CIHR Masters Scholarship (CIHR)


Recent publications

  • Robert, J et al.. 2020. Cerebrovascular amyloid Angiopathy in bioengineered vessels is reduced by high-density lipoprotein particles enriched in Apolipoprotein E.. Mol Neurodegener. doi: 10.1186/s13024-020-00366-8.
  • Bashir, A et al.. 2020. Increased severity of the CHIMERA model induces acute vascular injury, sub-acute deficits in memory recall, and chronic white matter gliosis.. Exp. Neurol. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2019.113116.
  • Whyte, T et al.. 2019. Technique and preliminary findings for in vivo quantification of brain motion during injurious head impacts.. J Biomech. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2019.07.023.
  • Sandsmark, DK, Bashir, A, Wellington, CL, Diaz-Arrastia, R. 2019. Cerebral Microvascular Injury: A Potentially Treatable Endophenotype of Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Neurodegeneration.. Neuron. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.06.002.
  • Gibbs, E et al.. 2019. A Rationally Designed Humanized Antibody Selective for Amyloid Beta Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease.. Sci Rep. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46306-5.
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