Dr. Sansing’s research program focuses on inflammatory mechanisms of secondary brain injury after stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases. Her laboratory investigates the role of innate immune responses after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and ischemic stroke in experimental murine in vivo and in vitro models, as well as ex vivo models using patient leukocytes and surgical specimens. As a physician-scientist, her goal is to identify the pathological processes that lead to brain injury in our patients, as well as the processes that aid in recovery and repair. With this understanding, we can develop targeted therapeutics to minimize injury after stroke and maximize recovery.
A major focus has been on mechanisms of monocyte and microglial activation after ICH. Using the genetic tractability of murine models, she has determined fundamental roles for monocyte/macrophages in propagating initial injury, determined that efferocytosis of apoptotic debris leads to phenotype modulation in the cells and drives their contribution to recovery, and determined that microglia depend on TGFb signaling to promote repair. Over the past 5 years, she has extended her work into human immunology using models of macrophage function and transcriptional profiling of leukocytes from patient brain and blood samples. Her laboratory applies these methods to patient samples from large clinical trials to further their work in the translational realm. Dr. Sansing is enthusiastically committed to furthering our understanding of the neuroinflammatory responses after acute brain injury across the research spectrum from basic discovery through translation into clinical trials. She has been awarded the American Academy of Neurology Michael S. Pessin Stroke Leadership Prize, the World Intracerebral Hemorrhage Conference Hoff Basic Science Award, and the American Neurological Association Derek Denny-Brown Neurological Scholar Award and currently serves as the Academic Chief of the Division of Stroke and Vascular Neurology at Yale School of Medicine.