Carmen Sato-Bigbee, PhD

Regulation of oligodendrocyte proliferation and differentiation, signal transduction systems; mechanism of gene regulation during brain development and nervous system regeneration.

  • B.S., 1979, Buenos Aires University, Argentina
  • B.S., 1979, Buenos Aires University, Argentina

  • 1985-1988, Dept of Neurology, Yale Univ. School of Medicine
  • 1988-1995, Dept of Biochemistry, VCU


Our studies are focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the formation of myelin, an intricate structure that insulates the neuronal axons allowing the rapid “saltatory” conduction of nerve impulses. Myelin and the myelin-making oligodendrocytes are also important regulators of plasticity and myelin formation correlates with enhanced function of the human infant and adolescent brain. Furthermore, altered myelin and oligodendrocytes have been recently associated to a variety of neurodevelopmental problems, including schizophrenia, autism, as well as dysfunction in both normal and pathological aging of the brain. Our most recent studies have identified novel regulators of oligodendrocyte development that may be affected by perinatal and adolescent exposure to opioids. Deregulation of these signaling pathways may also occur in the inflammatory environment of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease in which myelin loss is the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults. We expect that targeting of these mechanisms could result in novel pharmacological treatments to stimulate remyelination in the damaged brain and spinal cord.

View Dr. Sato-Bigbee's Publications via the National Library of Medicine's PubMed.
Carmen Sato-Bigbee, PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Virginia Commonwealth University
PO Box 980614
MCV Campus
Sanger Hall, Room 2-040
1101 E. Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298-0614

  •      804-828-7854