Christina Coughlan, PhD - Assistant Research Professor

Headshot of Christina Coughlan

Contact Information



Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania

PhD, University College Dublin

Professional Titles

Director, Biorepository Core

Co-Director, Exosome Core


Christina Coughlan is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Neurology, Director of the Biorepository Core, Co-Director of the Exosome Core, a member of the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center (CUACC), and a member of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Dr. Coughlan’s research and teaching experience have been extensive, resulting in publications focused on topics that pertain to the safety and efficacy of GM-CSF/sargramostim in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the role of astrogliosis in memory and its decline, the analysis of the role of exosomes in physiology and pathology, diseases, and disorders that include, but are not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, cancer, fibrotic lung tissue, fatty liver disease, and immune system dysregulation. Other research interests include understanding the roles of exosomes in the entry and transmission of viruses, detailed examinations of the cellular processes involved in protein mis-folding and clearance, understanding the role of APP and its fragments in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, investigating the role(s) of chemokines in neuroinflammation and neuronal migration, sialylation and its role in post-translational modifications of neural cell adhesion molecule and the role(s) of these modifications in memory formation. Prior to joining CU Anschutz and the CU Alzheimer's and Cognition Center, Dr. Coughlan did postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and was an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Denver.

Recent Publications

Araya, P., Kinning, K. T., Coughlan, C., Smith, K. P., Granrath, R. E., Enriquez-Estrada, B. A., Worek, K., Sullivan, K. D., Rachubinski, A. L., Wolter-Warmerdam, K., Hickey, F., Galbraith, M. D., Potter, H., & Espinosa, J. M. (2022). IGF1 deficiency integrates stunted growth and neurodegeneration in Down syndrome. Cell reports, 41(13), 111883. 

Bubak, A. N., Coughlan, C., Posey, J., Saviola, A. J., Niemeyer, C. S., Lewis, S. W. R., Lopez, S. B., Solano, A., Tyring, S. K., Delaney, C., Neeves, K. B., Mahalingam, R., Hansen, K. C., & Nagel, M. A. (2022). Zoster-associated Prothrombotic Plasma Exosomes and Increased Stroke Risk. The Journal of infectious diseases, jiac405. Advance online publication.

Rudy, M. J., Coughlan, C., Hixon, A. M., Clarke, P., & Tyler, K. L. (2022). Density Analysis of Enterovirus D68 Shows Viral Particles Can Associate with Exosomes. Microbiology spectrum, 10(1), e0245221.

Ng, T., Heyn, P. C., Tagawa, A., Coughlan, C., & Carollo, J. J. (2022). Associations of Circulating Insulin-Growth Factor-1 With Cognitive Functions and Quality of Life Domains in Ambulatory Young Adults With Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in neurology, 13, 748015.

Johnson, N. R., Wang, A. C., Coughlan, C., Sillau, S., Lucero, E., Viltz, L., Markham, N., Allen, C., Dhanasekaran, A. R., Chial, H. J., & Potter, H. (2022). Imipramine and olanzapine block apoE4-catalyzed polymerization of Aβ and show evidence of improving Alzheimer's disease cognition. Alzheimer's research & therapy, 14(1), 88.

Ahmed, M. M., Wang, A. C., Elos, M., Chial, H. J., Sillau, S., Solano, D. A., Coughlan, C., Aghili, L., Anton, P., Markham, N., Adame, V., Gardiner, K. J., Boyd, T. D., & Potter, H. (2022). The innate immune system stimulating cytokine GM-CSF improves learning/memory and interneuron and astrocyte brain pathology in Dp16 Down syndrome mice and improves learning/memory in wild-type mice. Neurobiology of disease, 168, 105694. 

Galvin, J., Curran, E., Arteaga, F., Goossens, A., Aubuchon-Endsley, N., McMurray, M. A., Moore, J., Hansen, K. C., Chial, H. J., Potter, H., Brodsky, J. L., & Coughlan, C. M. (2022). Proteasome activity modulates amyloid toxicity. FEMS yeast research, foac004. Advance online publication.

A list of Dr. Coughlan's publications can be found on Colorado PROFILES

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