Dr. Tara DeSilva PhD

Vice Chair
Department of Neurosciences
Cleveland Clinic

Tara M. DeSilva, PhD is an Associate Professor at the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She serves as Vice Chair for the Department of Neurosciences, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic. Dr. DeSilva received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her postdoctoral training at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. The DeSilva laboratory comprises two areas of research: 1) rodent models of development to understand regeneration, and 2) animal models of neurodegeneration to elucidate mechanisms of protection with a specific emphasis on neuron- glia interactions. The DeSilva laboratory utilizes various transgenic models combined with histopathological analysis of the brain using confocal and electron microscopy, proteomics, as well as motor and cognitive behavioral assessments to study multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. One major focus of the DeSilva laboratory is exploring how innate immune responses in microglia regulate white matter development and how impairments in this homeostatic process may be altered in neurological diseases. Another major interest is to understand how glutamate signaling specific to oligodendrocytes contributes to myelin degradation and impacts axonal injury in autoimmune demyelination. Dr. DeSilva receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She is a permanent member of the NIH study section Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Glia and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She is also actively involved in many international societies as a speaker and organizer. At a local level Dr. DeSilva is chair of the Neurological and Vision Impact area at the Lerner Research Institute and organizes a monthly seminar series to build collaborations between clinical, translational, and basic neuroscience and ophthalmic research.