Following a Master in physiology, cellular and molecular biology at the University of Poitiers in France, Dr. ElAli earned a Doctorate (Dr. rer nat) in cellular and molecular neuroscience from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, jointly with the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Afterwards, he completed a first postdoctoral training in vascular neurology in cerebrovascular diseases at the Research center of the University Hospital Center of Essen in Germany. He then completed a second postdoctoral training in neuroimmunology in cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases at the Research Center of CHU de Québec – Laval University. Dr. ElAli has joined the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Laval University in July 2015. He is the recipient of a career award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS), and has previously received several career awards and prizes of excellence, mainly from the German Research Foundation ‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)’, and the ‘Dr Werner Jackstaedt-Stiftung’ Foundation in Germany.
Cerebrovascular diseases mainly include strokes, which constitute a major cause of death and disability in Canadian adults. The great majority of cases are ischemic, caused by the occlusion of a cerebral artery by a blood clot. Beyond thrombolysis that aims at restoring the cerebral blood circulation by dissolving the clot, no effective disease-modifying treatment exists. Recent studies, including those performed by Dr. ElAli, have outlined the presence of a structural and functional remodelling process of the network of cells that constitutes the neurovascular unit following a stroke. This network includes endothelial cells, pericytes, astrocytes, microglia, and neurons that work together to enable the proper functioning of the brain. Emerging evidence suggests that the remodelling process decisively influences the regeneration of the injured tissue, thus providing new perspectives for the development of innovative interventions in stroke therapies.
Dr. ElAli’s research program aims to explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the remodelling of the neurovascular unit following a stroke. He is particularly interested in endothelial cells and pericytes as these two cell types constitute the core of the neurovascular unit. The endothelial cells form the blood-brain barrier that plays an essential role in maintaining the brain homeostasis. The pericytes play a crucial role in stabilization of the vascular system, and act as pluripotent cells capable to be differentiated into vascular, glial and neuronal cells. Dr. ElAli’s laboratory strategy consists of targeting specialized molecular mechanisms in the endothelial cells in order to restore the blood-brain barrier, and the function of pericytes in order to stabilize the vascular system and promote the regenerative potential of these cells. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to re-establish the integrity of the neurovascular unit as a way of regenerating the injured tissue.
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Microglia in Alzheimer's disease: A multifaceted relationship.Journal Article
Brain Behav Immun, 55 , pp. 138-150, 2016, ISSN: 0889-1591.
The Role of Monocytes in Ischemic Stroke Pathobiology: New Avenues to Explore.Journal Article
Front Aging Neurosci, 8 , pp. 29, 2016, ISSN: 1663-4365.
Microglia Ontology and Signaling.Journal Article
Front Cell Dev Biol, 4 , pp. 72, 2016, ISSN: 2296-634X.
Investigation of sex-specific effects of apolipoprotein E on severity of EAE and MS.Journal Article
J Neuroinflammation, 12 , pp. 234, 2015.
Erratum to: Vascular endothelial growth factor induces contralesional corticobulbar plasticity and functional neurological recovery in the ischemic brain.Journal Article
Acta Neuropathol, 130 (4), pp. 603, 2015, ISSN: 0001-6322.
The dynamics of monocytes and microglia in Alzheimer's disease.Journal Article
Alzheimers Res Ther, 7 (1), pp. 41, 2015.
The role of pericytes in neurovascular unit remodeling in brain disorders.Journal Article
Int J Mol Sci, 15 (4), pp. 6453-74, 2014.
Neurovascular Unit Dysfunction in Dementia: A Brief SummaryJournal Article
Alzheimers Parkinsons Dis, 1 (3), pp. 5, 2014, ISSN: 2377-357X.
Mild chronic cerebral hypoperfusion induces neurovascular dysfunction, triggering peripheral beta-amyloid brain entry and aggregation.Journal Article
Acta Neuropathol Commun, 1 , pp. 75, 2013, ISSN: 2051-5960.
Hyperlipidemia attenuates vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis, impairs cerebral blood flow, and disturbs stroke recovery via decreased pericyte coverage of brain endothelial cells.Journal Article
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 33 (7), pp. 1561-7, 2013, ISSN: 1079-5642.
- Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Subvention, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - Université Laval, Centres de recherche affiliés, from 2017-01-01 to 2099-12-31
- Centre thématique de recherche en neurosciences, Subvention, Institutionnel - BDR, BDR - Centres de recherche reconnus, from 1999-06-01 to 2023-05-01
- Mechanisms regulating contribution of pericytes to brain repair after stroke, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention Projet, from 2020-04-01 to 2025-03-31
- Neurovascular Restoration in Stroke: Role of Dickkopf-Related Protein-1 (DKK1), Subvention, Fondation des maladies du coeur et de l'AVC du Canada, Subventions de recherche, from 2018-07-01 to 2021-06-30
- Role of canonical Wnt pathway in regulating the structural and functional integrity of the blood-brain barrier in the normal adult brain, Subvention, Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie Canada, Subventions à la découverte SD (individuelles et d'équipe), from 2017-04-01 to 2022-03-31
- Signalisation de l’unité neurovasculaire suite aux maladies cérébrovasculaires: Implications pathobiologiques et thérapeutiques, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Chercheur-boursier Juniors 1 et 2, Seniors, from 2017-07-01 to 2021-06-30
- The role of apolipoprotein E4-canonical Wnt pathway crosstalk at the blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer’s disease, Subvention, Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation of Canada, Subvention de recherche, from 2017-10-30 to 2020-10-29
Recently finished projects
- 3rd Neuroforum of the CHU de Québec - Université Laval Research Center: A seminar series of le2aders in neuroscience, Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention de planification et dissémination, from 2020-01-01 to 2020-03-31
- Laboratory of inter-cellular dynamics within the neurovascular unit in cerebrovascular diseases, Partenariat, Fondation Canadienne pour l'innovation (La), Fonds des leaders John-R.-Evans (FLJR), from 2018-01-01 to 2020-01-31
- Signalisation de l’unité neurovasculaire suite aux maladies cérébrovasculaires: Implications pathobiologiques et thérapeutiques, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Établissement de jeunes chercheurs - Juniors 1, from 2017-07-01 to 2020-06-30