Begum Lab

Gulnaz Begum, PhD

Gulnaz Begum, PhD

Gulnaz Begum, PhD


Dr. Begum’s research is aimed to provide an in-depth molecular understanding of the role of astrocytes in neurogenerative diseases (Stroke, Traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease). Her lab investigates the molecular signals/mechanisms that lead to reactive astrocyte phenotype and how reactive astrocytes modulate the normal astrocyte-neuron, and astrocyte-vasculature interactions in brain disorders. Mouse genetics, multi-omics, fluorescence ion imaging, and tissue culture techniques are some of the multifaceted experimental approaches used in her lab to probe the function of reactive astrocytes in normal and diseased brain. Using the insights from these studies, she aims to ultimately transform astrocytes from “toxic” to “protective” state as a therapeutic strategy. Dr. Begum has received funding from NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and has over 27 publications.

Research: Astrocyte, Neuron-glia communication, Cerebrovascular dysfunction, Ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease.
Education: Research Training and Mentoring


Fellowship Neuroscience University of Pittsburgh 2011 - 2017
Fellowship Neuroscience University of Wisconsin 2010 - 2011
PhD Neuroscience National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences 2009
MS Chemistry Central College, Bangalore University 1999
BS Chemistry, Botany, Zoology Hasanath College, Bangalore University 1997

Positions Held

Assistant Professor University of Pittsburgh 2017 - Present
Teaching Faculty Department of Chemistry, Karnataka Institute of Leather Technology 2001 - 2003
Teaching Faculty Department of Chemistry, Vivekananda First Grade College 2000 - 2001

Honors and awards

- Young Investigator Travel Award, XXVIth international symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow Metabolism and Function and the XIth International conference on Quantification of Brain function with PET (Brain 2013, Shanghai China)

- Postdoctoral Travel Award, Experimental Biology (2015, Boston; USA)

Selected Publications

Liu R, Wang J, Chen Y, Collier JM, Capuk O, Jin S, Sun M, Mondal SK, Whiteside TL, Stolz DB, Yang Y, Begum G. NOX activation in reactive astrocytes regulates astrocytic LCN2 expression and neurodegeneration. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Apr 19;13(4):371. doi: 10.1038/s41419-022-04831-8. PMID: 35440572; PMCID: PMC9018876.

Song S, Huang H, Guan X, Fiesler V, Bhuiyan MIH, Liu R, Jalali S, Hasan MN, Tai AK, Chattopadhyay A, Chaparala S, Sun M, Stolz DB, He P, Agalliu D, Sun D, Begum G. Activation of endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling by protective astrocytes repairs BBB damage in ischemic stroke. Prog Neurobiol. 2021 Apr;199:101963. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2020.101963. Epub 2020 Nov 26. PMID: 33249091; PMCID: PMC7925353.

Begum G, Song S, Wang S, Zhao H, Bhuiyan MIH, Li E, Nepomuceno R, Ye Q, Sun M, Calderon MJ, Stolz DB, St Croix C, Watkins SC, Chen Y, He P, Shull GE, Sun D. Selective knockout of astrocytic Na+ /H+ exchanger isoform 1 reduces astrogliosis, BBB damage, infarction, and improves neurological function after ischemic stroke. Glia. 2018 Jan;66(1):126-144. doi: 10.1002/glia.23232. Epub 2017 Sep 19. PMID: 28925083; PMCID: PMC5705024.

Boscia F, Begum G, Pignataro G, Sirabella R, Cuomo O, Casamassa A, Sun D, Annunziato L. Glial Na(+) -dependent ion transporters in pathophysiological conditions. Glia. 2016 Oct;64(10):1677-97. doi: 10.1002/glia.23030. Epub 2016 Jul 26. PMID: 27458821; PMCID: PMC5238576.

Begum G, Yuan H, Kahle KT, Li L, Wang S, Shi Y, Shmukler BE, Yang SS, Lin SH, Alper SL, Sun D. Inhibition of WNK3 Kinase Signaling Reduces Brain Damage and Accelerates Neurological Recovery After Stroke. Stroke. 2015 Jul;46(7):1956-1965. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.008939. Epub 2015 Jun 11. PMID: 26069258; PMCID: PMC4643659.