Elizabeth Engler-Chiurazzi, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Clinical Neuroscience Research Center; AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador

Office Address
1324 Tulane Ave New Orleans, LA 70112
School of Medicine
Elizabeth Engler-Chiurazzi, PhD

Education & Affiliations

West Virginia University, Post-doctoral Fellowship
Arizona State University, PhD
Arizona State University, MA
Arizona State University, BS

Areas of Expertise

Brain aging
Rodent fuctional assessments
Community outreach


Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Engler-Chiurazzi is a behavioral neuroscientist in the Tulane Department of Neurosurgery. She completed undergraduate and graduate training addressing women’s health and cognitive aging at Arizona State University. In her post-doctoral fellowship, as part of the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research at West Virginia University, Dr. Engler-Chiurazzi launched and led the Rodent Behavior Core, a high-performing shared research facility dedicated to the ethical, rigorous, and efficient assessment of behavioral phenotypes. Dr. Engler-Chiurazzi’s NIH-funded research program explores how the convergence of the nervous and immune systems impacts neurological function, mental health, and brain aging, injury and disease. She is also interested in exploring poly-genomic mechanisms that control brain aging (namely microRNAs). To this end, Dr. Engler-Chiurazzi has published nearly 30 research papers and given 130+ poster and podium presentations at professional meetings. Importantly, her efforts to advance the field also extend beyond bench. Indeed, Dr. Engler-Chiurazzi has been actively engaged in neuroscience education and public outreach since 2005 and she was recently named an American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassador.


A primary goal of Dr. Engler-Chiurazzi’s laboratory is to explore how the nervous and immune systems converge to impact brain function, mental health, and neurological disease. As well, this team studies how a single micro-RNA, miR-34a, influences the trajectory of brain aging.


1.    Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Monoghan, KL, Wan, ECK, Ren, X (2020). B cells and the aging brain: interactions in the context of stroke. Geroscience  42(5):1199-1216. PMID 32767220 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32767220/
2.    Quintana, D, Garcia, J, Anatula, Y, Rellick, S, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Sarkar, S, Brown, C, Simpkins, J (2020). Amyloid-beta causes mitochondrial dysfunction via a Ca2+ driven upregulation of oxidative phosphorylation and superoxide production in cerebrovascular endothelial cells. J Alzheimers Dis. 75(1): 119-138. PMID: 32250296 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32250296/
3.    Nwafor, DC, Chakraborty, S, Brichacek, AL, Jun S, Gambill, CA, Wang, W, Engler-Chiurazzi, E. B., Dakhlallah, D, Benkovic, SA, Brown, C, (2020). Loss of tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) enzyme activity in cerebral microvessels is coupled to persistent neuroinflammation and behavioral deficits in late sepsis. Brain Behav Immun. 84: 115-131. PMCID: PMC7010562 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31778743/
4.    Cavendish, JZ, Sarkar, S, Colantonio, MA, Quintana, DD, Ahmed, N, White, BA,* Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Simpkins, JW (2019). Mitochondrial movement and number deficit in embryonic cortical neurons from 3xTg-AD mice and partial amelioration with sigma-1 agonist (+)SKF-10,047. J Alzheimers Dis. 70(1):139-151.  PMID:31177221 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31177221/
5.    Sarkar, S, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Cavendish, JZ, Povroznik, JM, Russell, AE, Quintana, DD, Mathers, P, and Simpkins, JW (2019). Transgenic over-expression of miR-34a in mice induces a rapid cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology. Brain Res 15:1721:146327. PMID: 31295467 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30594729/
6.    Quintana, D, Garcia, J, Sarkar, S, Jun, S, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Kerr, A, Cavendish, J, Simpkins, JW (2019). Hypoxia-reoxygenation of primary astrocytes results in a redistribution of mitochondrial size and mitophagy. Mitochondrion 47:244-255. PMCID:PMC6980114 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30594729/
7.    Sarkar, SN, Russell, AE, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Porter, KN, Simpkins, JW (2019). MicroRNAs and the genetic nexus in aging, neuroinflammation and brain trauma. Ag Dis 10 (2):329-352. PMCID: PMC6457055 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31011481/
8.    Quintana, D, Ren, X, Hu, H, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Rellick, SL, Lewis, SE, Povroznik, JM, Simpkins, JW, Alvi, M (2018). Gradual common carotid artery occlusion results in cerebral white matter pathology in a novel model of cerebrovascular hypoperfusion. Metab Brain Dis 33(6): 2039-2044. PMCID:PMC6342504. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30267298/
9.    Ozga, JE, Povroznik, JM, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, and Vonder Haar, C (2018).Executive (dys)Function after Traumatic Brain Injury. Behav Pharmacol. 29(7):617-37. PMCID:PMC6155367 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30215621/
10.    Ren, X*, Engler-Chiurazzi EB*, Sarkar, SN, Rellick, S, Lewis, S, Corbin, D, Clapper, J, Simpkins, JW. (2018). MiR-34a and Stroke: Assessment of non-modifiable biological risk factors in cerebral ischemia. J Neurochem Interna, PMCID:6980108. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30365981/
11.    Povroznik, JM, Ozga, JE, Vonder Haar, C, and Engler-Chiurazzi, E.B. (2018). Executive (dys)Function after Stroke. Behav Pharmacol. 29(7):638-53. PMCID:PMC6152929 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30215622/
12.    Povroznik, J, Engler-Chiurazzi, EB, Nanavati, T, Pergami, P (2018). Absolute neutrophil and lymphocyte counts in neonatal ischemic brain injury. Sage Open Med 6:2050312117752613. PMCID: PMC5777550 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29375880/

Rodent behavioral evaluations, brain aging, women’s health, mental health, and roller derby