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Pamela VandeVord, Ph.D.

N. Waldo Harrison Professor
  • Biomedical Engineering Program Chair
Genderless Silhouette
447 Kelly Hall
325 Stanger St.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research Areas

  • Biomechanics
  • Nanobioengineering
  • Neuroengineering
  • Tissue engineering

Research Interests

My brain injury research and educational platforms focus on the complex mechanisms of injury to the brain, with a thrust to understand the persistent neurobehavioral and neuropathological consequences of this traumatic event. For the past 14 years, I have been studying the fundamental questions concerning the mode of energy transfer to the brain during traumatic injuries as well as the consequent damage or disruptive mechanisms at the cellular and molecular levels.

My group investigates the molecular changes that occur within cells and their environment which lead to dysfunction. Our lab strives to use ‘condition-appropriate’ injury devices that mimic the injury being investigated. Correlation of the injury event to the temporal effects seen at the cellular level can only be accurate when the mode of injury is realistic to human conditions. Our work strives to provide mechanistic insight for outcomes such as elevated anxiety, cognitive deficits, and fear triggered by the traumatic event.

Collectively, these efforts will help the community understand how the brain becomes injured from traumatic events, and we work to provide a platform to design novel strategies to protect against, as well as identify and treat the injury, and alleviate the negative behavioral outcomes.


  • Wayne State University: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, 2002 
  • Wayne State University: M.S., Biomedical Sciences, 1996 
  • Michigan State University: B.S., Physiology, 1992

Awards, Honors, and Service

  • 2017 Fellow, The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) 
  • 2015 Virginia Tech Engineering Dean’s Research Excellence Award 
  • 2012 Virginia Tech Engineering Faculty Fellow Award 
  • 2011 Vanguard Award Recipient: Detroit Young Professionals 
  • 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Recent Publications

Kou Z, VandeVord PJ. Traumatic white matter injury and glial activation: From basic science to clinics. Glia. May 7. doi: 10.1002/glia.22690 (2014)

Sajja VS, Perrine SA, Ghoddoussi F, Hall CS, Galloway MP, VandeVord PJ. Blast neurotrauma impairs working memory and disrupts prefrontal myo-inositol levels in rats. Mol Cell Neurosci. Mar;59:119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn. 02.004 (2014)

Sajja VS, Hubbard WB, Ghoddoussi F, Hall CS, Galloway M, VandeVord PJ. Enduring deficits in memory and neuronal pathology after blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Scientific Reports; Nov 5;5: 15075 (2015)

VandeVord PJ, Leonardi AD, Ritzel D. Bridging the Gap of Standardized Animals Models for Blast Neurotrauma: Methodology for Appropriate Experimental Testing. Methods Mol Biol;1462:101-18 (2016)

Bailey ZS, Grinter MB, De La Torre Campos D, VandeVord PJ. Blast induced neurotrauma causes overpressure dependent changes to the DNA methylation equilibrium. Neurosci Lett: 29;604:119-123 (2015)

Sajja VS, Hubbard WB, VandeVord PJ. Subacute oxidative stress and glial reactivity in the amygdala are associated with increased anxiety following blast neurotrauma. Shock: 44 Suppl 1:71-8 (2015)

Sajja VS, Hubbard WB, Ghoddoussi F, Hall CS, Galloway M, VandeVord PJ. Enduring deficits in memory and neuronal pathology after blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Scientific Reports: Nov 5;5:15075. doi: 10.1038/srep15075 (2015)

Lashof-Sullivan MM, Shoffstall E, Atkins KT, Keane N, Bir C, VandeVord PJ, Lavik EB. Intravenously administered nanoparticles increase survival following blast trauma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 15; 111(28):10293-8 (2014)

Hubbard WB, Lashof-Sullivan MM, Lavik E, VandeVord PJ. Steroid-Loaded Hemostatic Nanoparticles Combat Lung Injury after Blast Trauma. ACS Macro Letters: 4;4:387-391 (2015)