Hongjian Pu, MD, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Pu’s research interest focuses on the field of neurological and mental diseases including vascular contributions and cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), anxiety & depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. Pu elucidated the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cerebrovascular injury and cognitive deficits and explored therapeutic regimens to promote long-term neurological function after brain injuries. Dr. Pu is currently investigating that
adiponectin ameliorates blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairments and cognitive deficits in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion-induced VCID by regulating endothelium inflammation. Dr. Pu received funding from the American Heart Association for his research and has over 28 peer-reviewed articles.

Education & Training

  • Post-Doctoral, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Neurology
  • PhD, Fudan University, Neurobiology
  • MD, Shanxi Medical University, Clinic Medicine

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests

Basic Research: Neurological recovery, mental disorders, white matter injury and repair, blood-brain-barrier disruption, and neuroinflammation of ischemic stroke, TBI, and VCID

Clinical Research: Mental disorders following stroke, TBI and VCID

Education: Basic research training and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows

Board Certifications

  • Member, Volunteer Holding Committee, American Heart Association (AHA), 2022-present
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Brain Behavior and Immunity/Translation Stroke Research/PLOS, Medicine/Neurobiology of Disease/Metabolic Brain Disease/Experimental Neurology/CNS, 2018-Present

Professional Organization Memberships

  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (ISCBFM)
  • Society of Neuroscience

Honors & Awards

  • Young Investigator Travel Bursary, 26th & 27th International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function
  • Early Career Investigator Travel Bursary, 28th International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow, Metabolism and Function
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association (AHA)
  • Early Career Investigator Abstract Award, Veterans Research Foundation, 2021 VAPHS Research Week
  • Career Development Award, American Heart Association (AHA)

Selected Publications

Pu H, Ma C, Zhao Y, Wang Y, Zhang W, Miao W, Yu F, Hu X, Shi Y, Leak RK, Hitchens TK, Dixon CE, Bennett MV, Chen J. Intranasal delivery of interleukin-4 attenuates chronic cognitive deficits via beneficial microglial responses in experimental traumatic brain injury. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Nov;41(11):2870-2886. doi: 10.1177/0271678X211028680. Epub 2021 Jul 14. PMID: 34259069; PMCID: PMC8545055.

Pu H, Zheng X, Jiang X, Mu H, Xu F, Zhu W, Ye Q, Jizhang Y, Hitchens TK, Shi Y, Hu X, Leak RK, Dixon CE, Bennett MV, Chen J. Interleukin-4 improves white matter integrity and functional recovery after murine traumatic brain injury via oligodendroglial PPARγ. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Mar;41(3):511-529. doi: 10.1177/0271678X20941393. Epub 2020 Aug 5. PMID: 32757740; PMCID: PMC7922743.

Pu H, Shi Y, Zhang L, Lu Z, Ye Q, Leak RK, Xu F, Ma S, Mu H, Wei Z, Xu N, Xia Y, Hu X, Hitchens TK, Bennett MVL, Chen J. Protease-independent action of tissue plasminogen activator in brain plasticity and neurological recovery after ischemic stroke. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 30;116(18):9115-9124. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1821979116. Epub 2019 Apr 17. PMID: 30996120; PMCID: PMC6500126.

Xia Y, Pu H, Leak RK, Shi Y, Mu H, Hu X, Lu Z, Foley LM, Hitchens TK, Dixon CE, Bennett MVL, Chen J. Tissue plasminogen activator promotes white matter integrity and functional recovery in a murine model of traumatic brain injury. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Sep 25;115(39):E9230-E9238. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1810693115. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30201709; PMCID: PMC6166834.