Dr. Lopez-Ramirez

Dr. Miguel Alejandro Lopez-Ramirez is focused on the development of non-invasive drug treatments to treat cardiovascular and neurological diseases. 

Dr. Lopez-Ramirez received degrees in Pharmaceutical Science and in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology. He is trained as a Neurovascular Biologist researching the molecular and genetic mechanisms that provide understanding of the pathological and physiological roles of genetic abnormalities. He received postdoctoral research training studying vascular network formation in living organisms at Yale University. He then moved to UCSD to study the roles of genes involved in cerebral cavernous malformations and their implications in cardiovascular biology.  Dr. Lopez-Ramirez is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. 

About the Lab

Our lab uses integrated approaches including genetics, cell biology, and bioinformatic tools to increase our understanding of the biological components of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) and neuroinflammation. CCMs are brain vascular malformations prone to repetitive hemorrhagic stroke, which cause neurological deficit and occasionally death in ~0.5% of the population. Currently no pharmacological therapy exists for those afflicted. Our research has demonstrated that mild angiogenesis inhibitors including thrombospondin1 derivatives may provide a novel opportunity to treat CCMs. In addition, our research has pioneered the important role of endothelial microRNAs as regulators of cerebrovascular integrity during health and neuroinflammation. The ultimate goal of our research is to provide non-invasive, safe, and effective therapies to cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

Research Highlights

Recent Publications
Thrombospondin1 (TSP1) replacement prevents cerebral cavernous malformations. Lopez-Ramirez MA, Fonseca G, Zeineddine HA, Girard R, Moore T, Pham A, Cao Y, Shenkar R, de Kreuk BJ, Lagarrigue F, Lawler J, Glass CK, Awad IA, Ginsberg MH. JEM (2017). 

Regulation of brain endothelial barrier function by microRNAs in health and neuroinflammation. Lopez-Ramirez MA, Reijerkerk A, de Vries HE, Romero IA. FASEB J. (2016).

A Dicer-miR-107 Interaction Regulates Biogenesis of Specific miRNAs Crucial for Neurogenesis. Ristori E, Lopez-Ramirez MA, Narayanan A, Hill-Teran G, Moro A, Calvo CF, Thomas JL, Nicoli S. Dev Cell. (2015).

MicroRNA-155 negatively affects blood-brain barrier function during neuroinflammation. Lopez-Ramirez MA, Wu D, Pryce G, Simpson JE, Reijerkerk A, King-Robson J, Kay O, de Vries HE, Hirst MC, Sharrack B, Baker D, Male DK, Michael GJ, Romero IA. FASEB J. (2014).