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Timothy Himes

Timothy Himes, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD - Medical College of Pennsylvania
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship - Medical College of Pennsylvania

Dr. Himes is a research assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Interests

Recovery of function after spinal cord injury


Dr. Himes is a microbiologist at Philadelphia's Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and carries out research in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

The goal of his research has been to understand the mechanisms that contribute to recovery after spinal cord injury and to use this knowledge to develop rational clinical treatments. Since recovery is likely to be enhanced both by rescuing damaged neurons that otherwise would have died and by permitting the regeneration of injured axons that otherwise would not have grown in the CNS, Dr. Himes studies and seeks to enhance both neuron survival and regeneration. His emphasis now is the use of adult-derived mesenchymal stem cells as transplants to augment host tissue survival and improve functional recovery following spinal cord injury.

He intends to continue experiments in which he assays the effects of transplants with quantitative anatomical tracing techniques and quantitative assays of behavior. The effects of adult-derived stem cells in the repair of spinal cord injury will be particularly interesting because such cells are readily available and could be generated from the individuals own tissue, avoiding the problem of graft rejection of foreign tissue by the host. It will also be of interest to apply these techniques to chronic injury models, since the first clinical trials of transplant efficacy will likely involve spinal cord injured patients with stable deficits.


Selected Publications

"Quantitative and functional analyses of spastin in the nervous system: implications for hereditary spastic paraplegia"
Solowska JM, Morfini G, Falnikar A, Himes BT, Brady ST, Huang D and Baas PW
J. Neurosci. 28(9):2147-2157, 2008

"Structure of the Excitatory Receptive Fields of Infragranular Forelimb Neurons in the Rat Primary Somatosensory Cortex Responding To Touch"
Tutunculer B, G Foffani, BT Himes and KA Moxon
Cerebral Cortex 16(6):791-810, 2006

"Recovery of function following grafting of human bone marrow stromal cells into the injured spinal cord"
Himes BT, GC Kopen, C Coleman, R Kushner, S Swanger, B Neuhuber, A Bakshi, JS Shumsky, J Wagner, and I Fischer
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 20(2):278-296, 2006

"Role of the 5-HT2C receptor for improving weight supported stepping in adult rats spinalized as neonates"
Kao T, J Shumsky, S Jacob-Vadakot, BT Himes, M Murray, K Moxon
Brain Res. 1112:159-168, 2006

"Neural stem cells may be uniquely suited for combined gene therapy and cell replacement: Evidence from engraftment of Neurotrophin-3-expressing stem cells in hypoxic-ischemic brain injury"
Park KI, BT Himes, PE Stieg, A Tessler, I Fischer and EY Snyder
Exp. Neurol. 199(1):179-190, 2006

"Axon growth and recovery of function supported by human bone marrow stromal cells in the injured spinal cord exhibit donor variations"
Neuhuber B, BT Himes, JS Shumsky, G Gallo and I Fischer
Brain Res. 1035(1):73-85, 2005

"Analysis of allogeneic and syngeneic bone marrow stromal cell graft survival in the spinal cord"
Swanger SA, B Neuhuber, BT Himes, A Bakshi and I Fischer
Cell Transplantation. 14(10):775-786, 2005

"Mechanically engineered hydrogel scaffolds for axonal growth and angiogenesis after transplantation in spinal cord injury"
Bakshi A, O Fisher, T Dagci, BT Himes, I Fischer and A Lowman
J. Neurosurg. Spine 1(3):322-329, 2004

"New model of minimally invasive experimental spinal cord injury"
Schwartz ED, Himes BT
Am. J. Neuroradiol. 24(2): 166-168, 2003

"Grafts of BDNF-producing fibroblasts that promote regeneration of axotomized rubrospinal neurons also rescue most neurons from retrograde death and prevent their atrophy"
Liu Y, Himes BT, Murray M, Tessler A, Fischer I
Exp. Neurol. 178(2): 150-164, 2002

"Transplants of cells genetically modified to express neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) rescue axotomized Clarke's nucleus neurons after spinal cord hemisection in adult rats"
Himes BT, Liu Y, Solowska JM, Fischer I, Tessler A
J Neurosci Res. 65:549-564, 2001

"Axonal transport of microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B) in the sciatic nerve of adult rat: distinct transport rates of different isoforms"
Ma D, BT Himes, TB Shea, and I Fischer
J. Neurosci. 20:2112-2120, 2000

"Neuroprotection from cell death following axotomy"
Himes BT and A Tessler
In Nerve Regeneration, N. Ingoglia and M. Murray (eds.). New York: Marcel Dekker, 2000

"Analysis of multipotential stem cells from embryonic rat spinal cord: in vitro characterization and intraspinal grafting"
Chow SY, J Moul, CA Tobias, BT Himes, Y Liu, M Obrocka, L Hodge, A Tessler, and I Fischer
BrainRes. 874:87-106, 2000

"Intraspinal delivery of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)using stem-like cells genetically modified by recombinant retrovirus"
Liu Y, BT Himes, J Solowska-Baird, J Moul, S Chow, A Tessler, E Snyder, and I Fischer
Exp.Neurol. 158: 9-26, 1999

"Transplants of fibroblasts genetically modified to express BDNF promote regeneration of adult rat rubrospinal axons"
Liu Y, D Kim, BT Himes, SY Chow, H Jin, M Murray, A Tessler, and I Fischer
J. Neurosci. 19 (11): 4370-4387, 1999

"Putative inhibitory extracellular matrix molecules do not prevent dorsal root regeneration into fetal spinal cord transplants"
Sugawara T, BT Himes, M Kowada, M Murray, A Tessler, and W Battisti
Neurorehab. and Neural Repair 13:135-147, 1999

"Critical interval for rescue of axotomized neurons by transplants"
Shibayama M, N Matsui, BT Himes, M Murray, and A Tessler
NeuroReport.9 (1): 1-4, 1998

"Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) prevents death of axotomized Clarke's nucleus neurons in adult rat"
Shibayama M, S Hattori, BT Himes, M Murray, and A Tessler
J. Comp. Neurol.390: 102-111, 1998

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8309
Fax: 215.843.9082