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Daniel Todd Laskowitz

Professor of Neurology
Neurology, Neurocritical Care
Duke Box 2900, Durham, NC 27710
227B Bryan Res Bldg, Durham, NC 27710


Our laboratory uses molecular biology, cell culture, and animal modeling techniques to examine the CNS response to acute injury. In particular, our laboratory examines the role of microglial activation and the endogenous CNS inflammatory response in exacerbating secondary injury following acute brain insult. Much of the in vitro work in this laboratory is dedicated to elucidating cellular responses to injury with the ultimate goal of exploring new therapeutic interventions in the clinical setting of stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and closed head injury.

In conjunction with the Multidisciplinary Neuroprotection Laboratories, we also focus on clinically relevant small animal models of acute CNS injury. For example, we have recently characterized murine models of closed head injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial hemorrhage and perinatal hypoxia-ischemia, in addition to the standard rodent models of focal stroke and transient forebrain ischemia. Recently we have adapted several of these models from the rat to the mouse to take advantage of murine transgenic technology. The objective of these studies are two-fold: to gain better insight into the cellular responses and pathophysiology of acute brain injury, and to test novel therapeutic strategies for clinical translation. In both cell culture systems and animal models, our primary focus is on examining the role of oxidative stress and inflammatory mechanism in mediating brain injury following acute brain insult, and examining the neuroprotective effects of endogenous apolipoprotein E in the injured mammalian central nervous system.

Our laboratory is committed to translational research, and has several active clinical research protocols, which are designed to bring the research performed in the Multidisciplinary Research Laboratories to the clinical arena. These protocols are centered around patients following stroke and acute brain injury, and are primarily based out of the Emergency Room and Neurocritical Care Unit. For example, we are currently examining the role of inflammatory mediators for use as a point-of-care diagnostic marker following stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and closed head injury. We have recently translated a novel apoE mimetic from the preclinical setting to a multi center Phase 2 trial evaluating efficacy in intracranial hemorrhage. We are also examining the functional role of different polymorphisms of of inflammatory cytokines in the setting of acute brain injury and neurological dysfunction following cardiopulmonary bypass.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Neurology · 2012 - Present Neurology, Neurocritical Care, Neurology
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Neurology · 2013 - Present Neurology, Clinical Science Departments
Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute in the Department of Neurology · 2016 - Present Neurology, Clinical Science Departments
Assistant Dean for Scholarly Education · 2024 - Present Medical Education, School of Medicine
Professor in Anesthesiology · 2012 - Present Anesthesiology, Clinical Science Departments
Professor in Neurobiology · 2012 - Present Neurobiology, Basic Science Departments
Professor in Neurosurgery · 2016 - Present Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute · 2010 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers
Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute · 2016 - Present Duke Clinical Research Institute, Institutes and Centers
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2017 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Duke University · 1991 M.D.