Joel S. Pachter, PhD

Professor, Cell Biology, UConn Health (Affiliate)

Research Overview

The focus of research in my laboratory is neuroinflammatory and neurovascular disease. This intersects with InCHIP’s mission in several ways. As diabetes is considered a “vascular ” disease, its clinical symptoms often impact the neurovasculature, leading to a greater incidence of stroke as well as cogntive deficits. HIV, the causitive agent of AIDS, infects the brain by crossing the specialized neurovasculature referred to as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Over the last twenty years, my laboratory has invested considerable efforts in elucidating mechanisms by which soluble and cellular elements in the bloodstream (including pathogens, like viruses), cross the normally highly impenetrable BBB. We have also recently begun investigating how normal aging affects the BBB and health of the neurovasculature (e.g., increase in incidence of stroke), and how exercise can reverse detrimental effects of the aging process.

My laboratory is also interested in pharmacological manipulation of the BBB as a therapeutic tool to treat neuroinflammatory disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis) and the neurovascular effects of diabetes and aging. Much of our work involves using an emerging technology called laser capture microdissection (LCM), whereby groups of cells – or even single cells – can be retrieved from tissue sections and then analyzed by several downstream profiling methods for the expression of both genes and proteins. Such an approach holds key to advancing genomic and personalized medicine, as it will allow each individual’s genetic makeup to be analyzed before and after any medical intervention – thereby allowing such intervention to be tailored for a specific person.

This work requires extensive bioinformatics and statistical analyses, and it is in this context where my interactions with InCHIP will be most evident. In this regard, collaborations are planned with faculty in the Department of Statistics at Storrs, regarding the development of new algorithms to be applied LCM and downstream profiling platforms.


Queens College, City University of New York, BA in Biology, 1975

New York University School of Medicine, Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Neurobiology, 1984

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, postdoctoral fellowship in Biological Chemistry, 1984-1987

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut Health Center
Department of Cell Biology
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030