Michael S. Beattie, PhD

Director of Research

Dr. Beattie has been interested in the neural mechanisms of recovery after brain and spinal cord injury for many years. He and his wife and collaborator, Dr. Jacqueline Bresnahan (also a member of the Neurosurgery faculty), have recently moved their laboratory to the Brain and Spinal Injury Center (BASIC) at UCSF from Ohio State University. Their group is known for developing preclinical models to study the recovery of function after spinal cord injury, and for studies of the biology of neural injury and repair. Current projects include analyses of the interrelationship of post-injury inflammatory events and excitotoxic cell death, the roles of oligodendrocyte death and replacement in recovery after injury, and the development of stem and progenitor cell transplantation strategies for promoting recovery after spinal cord injury. The laboratory continues to develop new animal paradigms for modeling human neurotrauma. BASIC's location at the SFGH along with the physician-scientists of UCSF Neurotrauma program will promote basic and clinical science interactions, and new animal models will be generated based on knowledge of current treatments and outcomes in the human neurotrauma arena. For example, there is an emerging interest in post-injury edema, studied in rodents using high field MR imaging. Acute studies of interventions that can reduce edema in animal studies may be taken directly to clinical studies in the neurotrauma ICU. Dr. Beattie's goal is to help translate the laboratory's expertise in the biology of injury and recovery to treatments that can be implemented and tested in neurotrauma patients at SFGH and other centers.


  • University of California, Davis, BS, 1972, Biological Psychology
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Ph.D., 1977, Neuropsychology and Neuroanatomy
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1978, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Neuropsychology/Neuroanatomy
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 1979, Postdoctoral in Neurophysiology

Positions Held

  • 1979-1985 Assistant Professor, Departments of Surgery and Anatomy, The Ohio State University
  • 1985-1992 Associate Professor, Neurosurgery and Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
  • 1992-1999 Professor, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Surgery, Ohio State University
  • 1981-1996 Director, Morphometrics Laboratory, Department of Anatomy, Ohio State University
  • 1995-2001 Program Director NINDS Training Grant in Development, Plasticity & Regeneration, OSU
  • 1999-2002 Brumbaugh Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Neuroscience, OSU
  • 2002-2006 Brumbaugh Professor and Chair, Dept. of Neuroscience
  • 2003-2006 Director, Neuroscience Graduate Studies Program
  • 2003-2006 Director, OSU Neurobiology of Disease Institute
  • 2006 Professor in Residence, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2007 Member, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF
  • 2007 Member, UCSF Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
  • 2010 Director of Research, Brain and Spinal Injury Center, UCSF


  • 1979 National Research Service Award, Individual NIH Fellowship
  • 1994 Knight Lecturer in Neuroscience, University of Miami
  • 1997 Rudolf Magnus Lecture, Utrecht University
  • 2000-2006 John D. and E. Olive Brumbaugh Chair of Brain Research and Teaching

Professional Societies

  • 1988-1991 Editorial Board, Journal of Neurotrauma
  • 1981-2010 Scientific Advisory Consultant, NINDS, DRR, NIDA (multiple ad hoc study sections)
  • 1996–2000 Member, NIH-NINDS study section, NSD-A
  • 2000–2004 Councilor, National Neurotrauma Society
  • 1997 Scientific Advisory Board, Acorda Therapeutics
  • 2001-2005 External advisory committee: NIH training program, Georgetown University Medical School
  • 2007 Roman Reed Scientific Steering Committee
  • 2007 Scientific Advisory Board, C.H. Neilsen Foundation
  • 2007 Editorial boards: Neural Plasticity, Current Neuropharmacology

Michael S. Beattie, PhD
Director of Research
Brain and Spinal Injury Center
1001 Potrero Ave, Bldg. 1, Rm. 101, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415-206-3859
Fax: 415-206-3948
Email: michael.beattie@ucsf.edu