Dr. Bahareh Ajami PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Behavioral Neuroscience
School of Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland (OR), USA
Dr. Ajami is an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience at OHSU. Her research is focused on how immune cells provokes the pathology in different neurodegenerative diseases. Her work aims at describing immune pathways that leads to the damage to the brain tissue and ultimately discover the molecules that serve as a brake on brain inflammation and reverse the damage. In order to decode the role of immune system in degenerative diseases, she aims to harness the power of single-cell analysis to assess cell phenotypes and functions on a cell-by-cell basis in each disease.
She was the first author on three seminal papers between 2007 and 2018 that reported the origin of immune cells in the brain and discovered their heterogeneity. Her paper in 2007, was the first to show that in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease, microglia (CNS-resident macrophages) are self-renewing locally and do not originate form bone marrow.
Dr. Ajami received her BA from Tehran University, Magna Cum Laude in Engineering, her Master’s degree from the University of Sydney and her PhD from University of British Columbia in 2011. She was a post-doctoral fellow in cellular immunology at Stanford University.
In September 2019, She established her own laboratory at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU).
Dr. Ajami has received numerous honors and awards, including she has twice been awarded the Marlene Reimer Brain Star of the Year Award for the best research in neuroscience field. In 2021, she was elected as the NIA-funded Oregon Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Research Education Scholar.
Dr. Ajami holds a patent on alpha5 integrin as a potential therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.