- Neural Stem Cells as therapeutic agents
- Biology of Glioblastoma Stem Cells
- Developmental factors driving malignant transformation in the brain
Alexandra Calinescu is an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Calinescu received her MD from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania, and her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Michigan. As a graduate student, Dr. Calinescu studied Neural Stem Cells in retinal regeneration after injury and the role of injury-induced secreted factors in this process.
During her postdoctoral training, Dr. Calinescu identified the existence of an activity dependent Hebbian-like neuroplasticity that promotes regeneration after injury in the peripheral nervous system and drives production of neurotrophic factors. In a mouse model of Glioblastoma, that recapitulates the salient features of human disease, Dr. Calinescu demonstrated that the developmental growth factor CXCL12, that guides migration of Neural Stem Cells in the developing brain, promotes survival and proliferation of Glioblastoma Stem Cells through an autocrine feedback loop.
Recent work from Dr. Calinescu has focused on transcriptional and epigenetic drivers of malignant transformation of Neural Stem Cells as well as on the use of Neural Stem Cells for the treatment of Glioblastoma.