Stefanie Robel is an Assistant Professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion in Roanoke, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree from the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, a Ph.D. with summa cum laude honors from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.
Her major research interest explored how astrocytes shape the development and progression of neurological diseases and central nervous system trauma. She has a strong expertise in cell biological and functional consequences of astrogliosis, the process that astrocytes undergo in response to injury of the CNS. Astrogliosis has beneficial and detrimental aspects and so far the field has not been able to independently modulate these two aspects. Advanced technology now enable the research community to aim for a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying astrocyte physiology and function in the healthy and injured brain. The Robel lab research group is actively interrogating the molecular signature of astrogliosis and associated functional changes of astrocytes in different disease contexts by combining genomics and genetic approaches with state-of the art imaging, electrophysiology and clinically relevant models of traumatic brain injury. Their long-term goal is to molecularly dissect beneficial from detrimental aspects of astrogliosis and to identify pathways that allow therapeutic modulation of this process.
Dr. Robel's research program has been funded by the National Institutes for Health, by the Department of Defense and Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).