Jiankun Cui, MD

Jiankun Cui, MD

Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

Assistant Research Professor
Research Specialist, Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital



Dr. Jiankun Cui, MD earned her degree from Tianjin Medical University and has practiced medicine for several years. Dr. Cui transitioned from clinical practice to translational neuroscience, pursuing a field of study not previously offered while in medical school. She became passionate about research while training at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Cui studies molecular biology, animal models, and behavior studies. She developed and managed the behavior facilities at the Center for Neuroscience & Aging at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at La Jolla, CA and the Center for Translational Neuroscience at the University Of Missouri (MU). Dr. Cui’s extensive clinic training and skills, especially the microsurgery and microdissection, support the research. As the manager of the Center for Translational Neuroscience at MU School of Medicine, she has provided a number of neuroscience-specialized services by the cutting-edged core facilities including microsurgery, neurobehavioral tests, primary cultures, and tissue processing. Dr. Cui has worked closely with a number of PIs on the experimental design, implementation of animal or cell studies, and offer technical support.

Academic Information

Assistant Research Professor
Research Specialist, Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital
P. 573-884-2502

Research Interests

  • Studies of traumatic brain, spinal cord injury
  • Studies of cerebral ischemia
  • Studies of aging-related neurodegenerative diseases

Areas of Expertise

  • Development of in vivo animal models for neurological diseases and in vitro primary cultures of different brain cells seeking a better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and for translational research applications

Education & Training

Medical School

Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China


  • Sheng W, Zong Y, Mohammad A, Ajit D, Cui J, Han D, Hamilton JL, Simonyi A, Sun AY, Gu Z, Hong JS, Weisman GA, Sun GY. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysaccharide induce changes in cell morphology, and upregulation of ERK1/2, iNOS and sPLA₂-IIA expression in astrocytes and microglia. J Neuroinflammation. 2011 Sep 24;8:121. PMID: 21943492.
  • Cui J, Chen S, Zhang C, Meng F, Wu W, Hu R, Hadass O, Lehmidi TME, Blair GJ, Lee M, Chang M, Mobashery S, Sun GY and Gu Z. Inhibition of MMP-9 by a Selective Gelatinase Inhibitor Protects Neurovasculature from Embolic Focal Cerebral Ischemia. Molecular Neurodegeneration 2012 May 15;7:21. PMID: 22587708.
  • Chuang DY, Chan MH, Zong Y, Sheng W, He Y, Jiang JH, Simonyi A, Gu Z, Fritsche KL, Cui J, Lee JC, Folk WR, Lubahn DB, Sun AY, Sun GY. Magnolia polyphenols attenuate oxidative and inflammatory responses in neurons and microglia cells. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 2013, Jan 29; 10(1):15. PMID: 23356518.
  • Hadass O, Tomlinson BN, Gooyit M, Chen S, Purdy JJ, Walker JM, Zhang C, Giritharan AB, Purnell W, Robinson CR II, Shin D, Schroeder VA, Suckow MA, Simonyi A, Sun GY, Mobashery S, Cui J, Chang M, Gu Z. Selective Inhibition of Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Attenuates Secondary Damage Resulting from Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. PLoS ONE 2013 Oct 23;8(10):e76904. PMCID: PMC3806745.
  • Jiang J, Chuang DY, Zong Y, Patel J, Brownstein K, Lei W, Lu C-H, Simonyi A, Gu Z, Cui J, Rottinghaus GE, Fritsche KL, Lubahn DB, Folk WR, Sun GY. Sutherlandia frutescens ethanol extracts inhibit oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in neurons and microglial cells. PLoS ONE 2014 Feb 25;9(2):e89748. PMID: 24587007.
  • Chen Z, Shin D, Chen S, Mikhail K, Hadass O, Tomlinson BN, Korkin D, Shyu C-R, Cui J, Anthony DC; Gu Z . Histological quantitation of brain injury using whole slide imaging: A pilot validation study in mice. PLoS ONE 2014 Mar 17; 9(3):e92133. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092133. PMID: 24637518.
  • Qu Z, Meng F, Bomgarden R, Viner R, Li J, Rogers J, Cheng J, Greenlief C, Cui J, Lubahn D, Sun G, Gu Z. Proteomic Quantification and Site-Mapping of S-Nitrosylated Proteins Using Isobaric iodoTMT Reagents. J. Proteome Res. 2014, 13, 3200−3211. DOI: 10.1021/pr401179v. PMID: 24926564.
  • Chuang DY, Cui J, Simonyi A, Engel VA, Chen S, Fritsche KL, Thomas AL, Applequist WL, Folk WR, Lubahn DB, Sun AY, Sun GY, Gu Z. Dietary Sutherlandia and elderberry mitigate cerebral ischemia-induced neuronal damage and attenuate p47phox and phospho-ERK1/2 expression in microglial cells. ASN Neuro. 2014 Oct 16;6(6). pii: 1759091414554946. doi: 10.1177/1759091414554946. Print 2014. PMID: 25324465.
  • Okamoto S, Nakamura T, Cieplak P, Chan S, Kalashnikova E, Liao L, Saleem S, Han X, Clemente A, Nutter A, Sances S, Brechtel C, Haus D, Haun F, Sanz-Blasco Sara, Huang X, Li H, Zaremba J, Cui J, Gu Z, Nikzad R, Harrop A, McKercher S, Godzik A, Yates J, Lipton S. S-Nitrosylation-Mediated Redox Transcriptional Switch Modulates Neurogenesis and Neuronal Cell Death. Cell Reports 07/2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.005. PMID: 25001280.
  • Chen S, Meng F, Chen Z, Tomlinson BN, Wesley JM, Sun GY, Whaley-Connell AT, Sowers JR, Cui J, Gu Z. Two-dimensional zymography differentiates gelatinase isoforms in stimulated microglial cells and in brain tissues of acute brain injuries. PLoS ONE. 2015 Apr 10;10(4):e0123852. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123852. PMID: 25859655.
  • Takahashi H, Xia P, Cui J, Talantova M, Bodhinathan K, Li W, Holland EA, Tong G, Piña-Crespo J, Zhang D, Nakanishi N, Larrick JW, McKercher SR, Nakamura T, Wang Y, Lipton SA. Pharmacologically targeted NMDA receptor antagonism by NitroMemantine for cerebrovascular disease. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 19;5:14781. doi: 10.1038/srep14781. PMID: 26477507.
  • Lee M, Chen Z, Tomlinson BN, Major Gooyit M, Hesek D, Juárez MR, Nizam R, Boggess B, Lastochkin E, Schroeder V, Wolter WR, Suckow MA, Cui J, Mobashery S, Gu Z and Chang C. “Water-Soluble MMP‑9 Inhibitor Reduces Lesion Volume after SevereTraumatic Brain Injury”. ACS Chem Neurosci. 2015 Oct 21;6(10):1658-64. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.5b00140. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PMID: 26241578