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Vassilis E. Koliatsos, M.D.

Vassilis E. Koliatsos, M.D.

Headshot of Vassilis E. Koliatsos
  • Professor of Pathology

Research Interests

Brain blast injury; Traumatic and degenerative brain injury and repair; Alzheimers disease more


Dr. Vassilis Koliatsos is a professor of pathology, neurology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His primary research interest is the mechanisms of traumatic and degenerative brain injury and repair.

Dr. Koliatsos’ research focuses on cellular therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and traumatic brain injuries, particularly blast-related traumatic brain injury.

He earned his M.D. from the University of Athens Medical School in Greece. He completed a residency in internal medicine and neurology at Crete Naval Hospital, a psychiatry fellowship at University of Athens Medical School, and a neurology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed an internship in internal medicine at Franklin Square Hospital, followed by a residency in psychiatry at Sheppard Pratt Hospital. more


  • Professor of Pathology
  • Professor of Neurology
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes


Additional Training

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, 1987, Neurology Fellowship; University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece, 1987, Psychiatry Fellowship; Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Towson, MD, 1997, Psychiatry; Franklin Square Hospital, Baltimore, MD, 1994, Internal Medicine; Crete Naval Hospital, Crete, Greece, 1983, Internal Medicine/Neurology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Koliatsos's research involves the fundamental mechanisms of neural responses to traumatic and degenerative signals as well as mechanisms of neural repair. His interests include: traumatic brain injury and models; mechanisms and treatments of traumatic axonopathies; molecular neuropathology of traumatic brain injury; and regeneration of circuits in the injured brain using stem cells and their products. The main focus in the lab currently is the role of molecular programs of axonal self-destruction, especially SARM1 and stress MAPKs, in the initiation and progression of traumatic and other axonopathies and the discovery of small molecules that can mitigate such pathogeneses.


The Koliatsos lab focuses on cellular therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injuries. His team is characterizing the role of small GABAergic cortical interneurons, neurons that serve as sensors of injury, but may also scavenge injured neurons and cue adult stem cells in the brain. Using a mouse model of brain blast injury, Koliatsos studies immediate brain circuit disruption and chronic neurodegenerative side effects, as well as develops therapeutic strategies to prevent or repair damage. The group has successfully used neural stem cells to create grafts in animal models of ALS and spinal cord injury, too.

Lab Website: Koliatsos Laboratory

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Koliatsos VE, Cernak I, Xu L, Song Y, Savonenko A, Crain B, Eberhart CG, Frangakis CE, Melnikova T, Kim H, Lee D: A mouse model of blast injury to brain: initial pathological, neuropathological and behavioral characterization. J Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 70(5):399-416, 2011.

Ryu J, Horkayne I, Plenticova O, Xu, L, Eberhart CG, Troncoso JC and Koliatsos VE: The problem of axonal injury in the brains of veterans with histories of blast exposure. Acta Neuropathol. Commun. 2(1) 153; Nov 25, 2014. 

Xu L, Ryu J, Nguyen J, Arena J, Rha E, Vranis P, Hitt D, Marmarou C, Marsh-Armstrong N and Koliatsos VE: Evidence for accelerated tauopathy in the retina of transgenic P301S tau mice exposed to repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. Exp. Neurol. 273:168-176, 2015.

Xu L, Nguyen J, Lehar M, Menon A, Rha E, Arena J, Ryu J, Marmarou C, Marsh-Armstrong N and Koliatsos VE: Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury with impact acceleration in the mouse: Multifocal axonopathy, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration in the visual system. Exp. Neurol. 275(Pt 3):436-69, 2016.

Ziogas NK and Koliatsos VE. Primary traumatic axonopathy in mice subjected to impact acceleration: a reappraisal of pathology and mechanisms with high-resolution anatomical methods. J Neurosci. 2018 Apr 18;38(16):4031-4047.

Contact for Research Inquiries

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Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Graduate Program in Pathobiology

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