CHIRP Program Leadership


CHIRP Core Directorates

Clifton Dalgard, Ph.D., Director, Laboratory Core

Name: Clifton Dalgard, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment: Anatomy, Physiology & Genetics
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Director, Laboratory Core (CHIRP), Associate Professor

Affiliated Departments: Molecular & Cell Biology, Neuroscience

Email: (link sends e-mail)
Office Phone: (301) 295-1970
Room: B2038

Department Website
PubMed Listing


  • Molecular and Cell Biology Program
  • Neuroscience Program
  • Course Director, Techniques in Neuroscience
  • Course Director, Advanced Topics in Genomics and Proteomics
  • Education: B.A. (1997) in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California
  • at Berkeley; Ph.D. (2005) in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University,
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California at San Francisco

Memory Adaptive Immunity in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

cdalgard labDespite the appearance of health, individuals that have recovered from mTBI may be susceptible to worse outcome after a subsequent second injury and may even result in sudden coma or death. Recently, it has been determined that the adaptive immune system can respond and develop memory to CNS injury and activate production of autoantibodies with pathogenic potential. However, the precise response and contribution of memory immune responses in pathogenesis after repeated mTBI events has not been investigated. Our laboratory focuses on the role of memory components of the adaptive immune system in mTBI. We are currently defining a role of memory lymphocyte generation on neuroinflammation and injury outcome in a model of repeated mTBI. Systems biology level evaluation of brain, spleen, lymph node, and peripheral blood lymphocyte populations are accomplished using multi-dimensional flow cytometry, complete transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq, and multiplex ELISA analysis of in vitro lymphocyte restimulation assays. In vitro lymphocyte cultures from experimental subjects are being utilized for identification of brain-associated immunogenic antigens in repeated mTBI. Since T and B lymphocytes have both potential neuroprotective and neuropathogenic roles, elucidating the response of the adaptive immune system to mTBI is of importance to develop preclinical strategies to improve neurological recovery after repeated injury.

Vincent B. Ho, MD, MBA, Chair (Department of Radiology), Director, Clinical Core

Name: Vincent B. Ho, MD, MBA

Department of Primary Appointment: Radiology & Radiological Services
Position: Department Chair
Title: Chair (Department of Radiology), Director, Clinical Core (CHIRP), Professor

Email: (link sends e-mail)

PubMed Listing

Chittari Shivakumar, Ph.D., Director, Research Projects Core

Name: Chittari Shivakumar, Ph.D.

Department of Primary Appointment:
Position: USU Faculty
Title: Director, Research Projects Core (CHIRP)

Matthew D. Wilkerson, Ph.D., Director, Informatics Core