Photo of Dr. Rona Giffard, Professor of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Emerita) at Stanford University
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Rona Giffard's laboratory studies stroke. Stroke is a devastating problem that is the leading cause of long term neurological disability and the third leading cause of death worldwide. The lab tries to identify ways to reduce ischemic brain injury, and to better understand the interactions between different brain cell types during injury and recovery. Astrocytes and their response to injury are an important focus in the lab. The Giffard lab has found that astrocyte impairment contributes to neuronal injury in global ischemia. Targeting protective strategies to astrocytes leads to markedly increased neuronal survival.

Another area of focus in the lab is the increase in neurogenesis following stroke, and the deleterious effects of inflammation on neurogenesis in this setting. The Giffard lab is studying ways to improve mitochondrial function to increase newborn neuron survival, and modulate inflammation.