Mike Modo, PhD

  • Professor, Radiology and Bioengineering





Personal Website

website link

Education & Training

B.Sc. (Honors, Psychology), Royal Holloway, University of London
M.Sc., Ph.D. (Neuroscience), Kings College, London

Campus Address

3025 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

One-Line Research Description

Restorative Neuroscience and Neuroimaging of brain damage

Our main interest is geared towards repairing the damaged brain. We use cell transplantation, as well as bioscaffolds and combinations of these to repair damaged tissue, but also more recently trying to regenerate lost brain tissue. Characterization of neural stem cells and bioscaffolds is part of this process, as well as in vitro tissue engineering studies aiming to understand fundamental processes in assembling and constructing brain tissue.


To know if we reconstructed brain tissue, we are also developing non-invasive imaging tools, specifically magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based techniques, that allow us to determine tissue characteristics at the mesoscale (0.1-1 mm), which probes a system-level organization of cells into tissues. As part of this effort, we characterize human brain tissue, such as the hippocampus and neocortex, ex vivo using diffusion-based MRI.

Representative Publications

Ke, J., Foley, L., Hitchens, T.K., Richardson, M., Modo, M. Ex vivo mesoscopic diffusion MRI correlates with seizure frequency in patients with uncontrolled temporal lobe epilepsy. Human Brain Mapping 2020. PMID: 326221364.


Chou, C.H. & Modo, M. Characterization of gene expression changes in human neural stem cells and endothelial cells modeling a neurovascular environment. Brain Research Bulletin. 2020; 158: 9-19. PMID: 32092433.


Ghuman, H., Hitchens, K., Modo, M. A systematic optimization of 19F MR image acquisition to detect macrophage invasion into an ECM hydrogel implanted in the stroke-damaged brain. Neuroimage. 2019; 202. PMID: 31408717.


Ghuman, H., Donnelly, J., Mauney, C., Massensini, A., Badylak, S.F., Modo, M. Promoting endogenous brain tissue restoration through implantation of ECM hydrogel in a rat model of stroke. Acta Biomaterialia 2018; 80: 66-84. PMID: 30232030.


Dalise, S., Cavalli, L., Ghuman, H., Wahlberg, B., Gerwig, M., Chisari, C., Ambrosio, F., Modo, M. Biological effects of dosing aerobic exercise and neuromuscular electrical stimulation in rats. Scientific Reports. 2017; 7(1): 10830. PMID: 28883534.


Rattray, I., Smith, E., Crum, W., Walker, T., Bates, G., Modo, M. Correlations of behavioral deficits with brain pathology assessed through longitudinal MRI and histopathology in the HdhQ150/Q150 mouse model of Huntington’s disease. PLOS1. 2017; 18(2): e0168556. PMID: 28088507.


Nicholls, F., Rotz, M.W., Ling, W., Ghuman, H., MacRenaris, K.W., Meade, T.J., Modo, M. DNA-Gadolinium-Gold nanoparticles for in vivo T1 MR imaging of transplanted human neural stem cells. Biomaterials. 2016; 77: 291-306. PMID: 26615367.


Caron, I., Micotti, E., Merlino, G., Plebani, L., Gianluigi, F., Modo, M., Bendotti, C. Comparative magnetic resonance imaging and histopathology correlates in two SOD1 transgenic mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PLOS1. 2015;10(7):e0132159. PMID: 26132656.


Crum, W.R., Giampietro, V.P., Smith, E.J., Gorenkova, N., Stroemer, R.P., Modo, M. A comparison of automated anatomical-behavioural mapping methods in a rodent model of stroke. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2013: 218 (2); 170-183. PMID: 23727124.


Smith, E.J., Stroemer, R.P., Gorenkova, N., Nakajima, M., Crum, W.R., Tang, E., Stevanato, L., Sinden, J.D., Modo, M. Implantation site and lesion topology determine efficacy of a human neural stem cell line in a rat model of stroke. Stem Cells, 30(4), 785-796. PMID: 22213183.


Vernon AC, Crum WR, Johansson SM, Modo M. Evolution of extra-nigral damage predicts behavioural deficits in a rat proteasome inhibitor model of Parkinson's disease. PLoS One. 2011 Feb 25;6(2):e17269. PubMed PMID: 21364887.


Vernon AC, Natesan S, Modo M, Kapur S. Effect of Chronic Antipsychotic Treatment on Brain Structure: A Serial Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study with Ex Vivo and Postmortem Confirmation. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 May 15;69(10):936-44. [Epub 2010 Dec 31] PubMed PMID: 21195390.