"With an enthusiastic team you can achieve almost anything" -Tahir Shah

From left to right: Servio H. Ramirez Ph.D. (PI), Evan Lutton (M.D/Ph.D., student), Roshanak Razmpour (Senior laboratory manager/scientist), Steven Merkel (Ph.D. student), Lee-Anne Canella (Ph.D. student), Allison Andrews Ph.D. (Postdoctoral fellow), Steven Merkel (Ph.D. student).

Although not pictured here, our group includes the outstanding participation and dedication of:  undergraduate students (Neuroscience majors from CST and CLA -Main campus) involved in year long independent studies, medical students via the summer research for medical students program, and visiting scholars.

Servio H. Ramirez, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Dept. of Pathology & Lab Medicine
Temple University School of Medicine
3500 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Tel: 215-707-2741 (Office),               215-707-7622 (Lab)
E-mail: servio@temple.edu

About the Principal Investigator:  Dr. Ramirez specializes in the study of neuroinflammation.  Particularly as it relates to CNS infection, drugs of abuse, sepsis and brain injury.

Dr. Ramirez received his Bachelors of Science degree in Biotechnology (Genetic Engineering) from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY).  He then attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (NY) where he received his doctorate in Immunology, Microbiology and Virology.  His postdoctoral training was at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).  At UNMC in the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Neuroscience he worked with world renowned Blood-Brain Barrier biologist, Dr. Yuri Persidsky.  In 2008, Dr. Ramirez moved to the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA where he is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Histopathology Research Core in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.  At Temple University, Dr. Ramirez also holds appointments at the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the Shriners Childrens Hospital Research Center (which is housed within Temple) and the Temple University Concussion and Athletic Neurotrauma Program.  Dr. Ramirez has published extensively on neuroscience, cerebrovascular biology and neuroinflammation.  He also serves in multiple study sections including: two at the NIH, the American Heart Association, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, the Israeli Science foundation and the UK MRC.  

For prospective students, Dr. Ramirez lectures in the following courses:

Dept. of Biochemistry (course #9220 –Fall semester):  Special Topics in Biophysical Chemistry

Dept. of Neuroscience (course #8703 –Spring semester): Translational Science of Nervous System Diseases

Dept. of Pharmacology (course #8805 –Spring semester): Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse

Lab Members

Dr. Allison Andrews received her Bachelors of Science in Agricultural & Biological Engineering from the University of Florida where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.  She then attended Drexel University and received her doctorate in 2012 from the Biomedical Engineering department.  Her thesis, under the advisement of Dr. Kenneth A. Barbee and Dr. Dov Jaron, was on the mechanism of shear stress (flow)-induced nitric oxide production from endothelial cells.  As part of the project, she designed a unique device and method for measuring nitric oxide from endothelial cells exposed to flow.  She was awarded a patent on the device and method in 2014.  Following her Ph.D., she did a Post-Doc under the advisement of Dr. Victor Rizzo in Temple University’s Cardiovascular Department.  Her work involved studying the role of caveolae in microparticle-induced activation of lung endothelial cells.  She then joined Dr. Ramirez’s lab in 2014 in order to expand her expertise in endothelial biology to that of the blood-brain barrier.  Her work involves studying the production of extracellular microvesicles from brain endothelial cells in response to neuroinflammation, mechanical injury, HIV and drugs of abuse. CONTACT INFO: allison.andrews@temple.edu



Evan Lutton is an MD/PhD student who joined the neuroscience research studies cluster and our laboratory in May 2014. Evan is originally from Pittsburgh and graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in 2012 with a BA in Cell/Molecular Biology. His thesis project focuses on combating oxidative stress produced by the controlled cortical impact mouse model of TBI. His project will also utilize multi-photon microscopy to study phenomena associated with TBI in vivo.  CONTACT INFO: luttonem@temple.edu 




Steve Merkel is a fourth year graduate student in Dr. Ramirez’s laboratory working towards his Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.  Prior to joining Temple University, Steve received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).  He received his M.S. in Bioscience Technologies from Thomas Jefferson University School of Health Professions, and he is currently a board certified Cytotechnologist (CT) with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).  Since beginning his research career, Steve has published on diverse neuroscience-related topics including: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), gene therapy for the treatment of CNS disorders, and neurogenesis.  Steve’s doctoral thesis research is focused on substance abuse and neuroinflammation in the context of traumatic brain injury.  In 2013, Steve was awarded a position in the NIH/NIDA-supported training program (T32 DA007237) offered through the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CSAR) at Temple University School of Medicine.                             CONTACT INFO: tue39636@temple.edu 


Lee Anne Cannella is a second year graduate student in Dr. Ramirez’s lab in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. After graduating from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she received her M.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Radboud University in the Netherlands. Under the advisement of Dr. Mark Gluck, her master’s thesis work focused on learning, memory, and plasticity in the context of behavioral assays of procedural and declarative memory, and how these cognitive processes can be affected by individual trait-like differences in long-term sleep patterns.  Lee Anne joined the Neuroscience cluster within the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program at Temple University School of Medicine. In order to expand her experiences and knowledge to the context of the blood-brain barrier she became a member of Dr. Ramirez’s lab in June 2015 where she will further develop her career in research by investigating the effects of neuroinflammation and drugs of abuse.                   CONTACT INFO: tuf72611@temple.edu    


Roshanak Razmpour attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  She began her career at Temple University in 2003 under the Health System umbrella, in which she served Clinical and Anatomic Pathology for five years as a Medical Technologist.  She introduced novel immunohistochemistry techniques that refined, enhanced and allowed for consistent reproducibility of the most difficult cancer marker stains. Roshanak then joined the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in 2008 and spent six years as a Senior Lab Supervisor, where she continued her work in immunohistochemistry and subsequently expanded into molecular and cell biology. During her first two years with the department, she ran the Molecular Histology Core Facility that served the entire Temple University system. Due to high demand, she developed a novel plastic embedding method for mineralized and non-mineralized tissue.  In April 2014, Roshanak joined Dr. Ramirez’s Lab.  She has successfully refined and optimized the methodology for studying the vascular biology of the blood-brain barrier by histological means.  She has mastered multiplexing with chromogenic compounds for enhanced analysis of tissue morphology and cellular distribution of targets.                                                                     CONTACT INFO: razmpour@temple.edu