Tony Calabria

Ph.D. 2006

Research Project

Brain microvessel endothelial cells (BMECs) form the BBB and rapidly de-differentiate when maintained in culture, resulting in a loss of their unique barrier properties. This phenomenon was examined by comparing the gene expression levels in cultured BMECs to those found in the brain (in vitro BMECs vs. in vivo BMECs). A subset of genes were identified whose expression levels were altered as a result of removing the BMECs from their microenvironment in the brain. By re-introducing other brain cell types into a co-culture system with BMECs, the influences of these cell types on BMEC gene expression levels within the subset was determined. This work will provide valuable insight into the individual contributions of neural progenitor cells, neurons, and astrocytes to the BBB phenotype.

Previous Education

B.S. in Chemical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley, CA


Seattle, WA

Previous Research Experience

University of California, Berkley
Undergraduate Research: Detection of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate by HPLC


  1. Calabria AR, Weidenfeller C, Jones AR, de Vries HE, Shusta EV. Puromycin-purified rat brain microvascular endothelial cell cultures exhibit improved barrier properties in response to glucocorticoid induction. J Neurochem. 2006;97:922-933. [Abstract]

  2. Calabria AR, Shusta EV.  Blood-brain barrier genomics and proteomics: elucidating phenotype, identifying disease targets, and enabling brain drug delivery.  Drug Discov Today. 2006;11:792-799. [Abstract]

  3. Calabria AR, Shusta EV.  A genomic comparison of in vivo and in vitro brain microvascular endothelial cells.  J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. Epub June 13, 2007 [Abstract]