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Prof. Dr. Raphael Guzman


Raphael Guzman, MD
Department of Neurosurgery
University Hospital Basel
Spitalstrasse 21
University Children’s Hospital
Spitalstrasse 33
CH-4056 Basel/Switzerland

Phone +41 61 265 71 24

Raphael Guzman is Professor of Neurosurgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Hospital Basel and the University Children’s Hospital of Basel (UKBB). His clinical expertise is in Pediatric and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery. Prof. Guzman’s research group examines the clinical relevance of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPC) in brain ischemia and particularly in neonatal hypoxic-ischemia (HI) with regard to white matter regeneration. Neonatal HI is an important cause of cerebral palsy (CP), leading to devastating sensory-motor, cognitive and learning deficits in the growing child. White matter injury is a central feature of HI and CP, and defects in myelination are also commonly identified in other neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). White matter myelination generally reflects the progression of functional brain maturation and connectivity in the first years of life and dysfunction in this crucial process might contribute to the etiology of common symptoms found in CP and ASD. His laboratory is currently investigating the molecular and cellular crosstalk between NPCs and resident brain cells, particularly myelinating oligodendrocytes, in vitro and in a rodent model of neonatal HI. The question is how the NPC secretome influences the process of endogenous white matter regeneration. Most recently, his research demonstrated that NPCs orchestrate microglial functions via secretion of specific factors. This finding may have particular relevance for the NPC-mediated structural plasticity of white matter. Further studies will also include rodent models of autism to explore the interactions between the NPC and immune system, and their specific contribution to white matter regeneration. The laboratory methodologies include powerful imaging techniques such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), bioluminescence imaging and Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence, as well as behavioral assays, histology and molecular biology.

The Guzman lab is involved in several collaborations with clinical and research groups in Basel including the Neonatology and Pediatric Neurology Departments at UKBB and F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Active International collaborations exist with Stanford University where Prof. Guzman is an adjunct Faculty in Neurosurgery, and with the Department of Biology of the University of Southern Denmark. Part of the imaging is done with the Duke University Center for in vivo microscopy. The Synchrotron imaging is done in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Selected recent publications

  • Andres RH, Choi R, Pendharkar A, Gaeta X, Wang N, Lee SE, Palmer TD, Steinberg GK, Guzman R. (2011). The CCR2/CCL2 interaction regulates therapeutic homing of neural stem cells after intraarterial delivery for stroke. Stroke 42:2923-31.
  • Rosenblum S, Wang N, Smith TN, Pendharkar AV, Chua JY, Birk H, Guzman R. (2012). Timing of intra-arterial neural stem cell transplantation after hypoxia-ischemia influences cell engraftment, survival and differentiation. Stroke 43:1624-31.
  • Mosher KI, Andres RH, Fukuhara T, Bieri G, Hasegawa-Moriyama M, He Y, Guzman R, Wyss-Coray T. (2012). Neural Progenitor cells regulate microglia functions and activity. Nature Neurosciences 15:1485-7.
  • Hayden Gephart MG, Woodard JI, Arrigo RT, Lorenz HP, Schendel SA, Edwards MS, Guzman R. (2013). Using bioabsorbable fixation systems in the treatment of pediatric skull deformities leads to good outcomes and low morbidity. Childs Nerv Syst. 29:297-301.
  • Rosenblum S, Smith TN, Wang N, Chua JY, Westbroek E, Wang K, Guzman R. (2015). BDNF Pre-treatment of Human Embryonic-Derived Neural Stem Cells Improves Cell Survival and Functional Recovery after Transplantation in Hypoxic-Ischemic Stroke. Cell Transplant. 24:2449-61.
  • Brégère C, Fisch U, Sailer MH, Lieb WS, Chicha L, Goepfert F, Kremer T, Guzman R. (2017). Neonatal hypoxia-ischemia in rat increases doublecortin concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid. Eur J Neurosci. 46:1758-1767.
  • Levi AD, Okonkwo DO, Park P, Jenkins AL 3rd, Kurpad SN, Parr AM, Ganju A, Aarabi B, Kim D, Casha S, Fehlings MG, Harrop JS, Anderson KD, Gage A, Hsieh J, Huhn S, Curt A, Guzman R. (2017). Emerging Safety of Intramedullary Transplantation of Human Neural Stem Cells in Chronic Cervical and Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury. Neurosurgery. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyx250. [Epub ahead of print]


  • Gera A, Steinberg GK, Guzman R. (2010). In vivo neural stem cell imaging: current modalities and future directions. Regenerative Medicine 5:73-86.
  • Aurait AM, Rosenblum S, Smith TN, Guzman R. (2011). Intravascular Stem Cell Transplantation for Stroke. Translational Stroke Research 2:250-65.
  • Chicha L, Smith T, Guzman R. (2014) Stem cells for brain repair in neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. Childs Nerv Syst. 30:37-46.