PhD, Biochemistry, Aristotle University of Thesssaloniki, Greece

B.S., Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thesssaloniki, Greece

Neuro-immune interactions: Cross-talk between the nervous and immune systems in health and disease

Traditionally the central nervous system (CNS) has been thought to be ‘immune privileged’ and not interact with the immune system. Increasing evidence however suggests that many neurodegenerative diseases, as well as many acute injuries in the CNS, are characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the CNS. An initial response to neuronal injury is evidenced by the activation of CNS microglia.  Microglia are antigen-presenting, immune-competent, macrophage-like cells that reside in the CNS and are able to modulate neuronal survival, or are hypothesized to affect neuronal structural changes occurring in response to neuronal activity. Our research interests concern the communication, signaling events and cell-cell interactions between neurons and microglia subsequent to normal or exaggerated stimulation of the CNS that lead to reorganization of neuronal connections in the brain or neuronal cell death.

Stella Tsirka was born and raised in Greece. She received her BS and PhD degrees from the University of Thessaloniki. She then pursued postdoctoral studies at Univ California San Francisco and SUNY Stony Brook, under the mentoring of Drs Phil Coffino and Sid Strickland, respectively. She was appointed Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at SBU in 1998, and joined the Pharmacology faculty in 2000.

A complete list of publications can be found in HERE.

Alexandros Kokkosis, PhD Graduate student (

Miguel Madeira, PhD Graduate student (

Daniel Radin, PhD (MSTP) Graduate student (

Tanya Victor, PhD Graduate student (

Gabriella Calvitto, MS Graduate student (

Gregory Smith, MS Graduate student (

Nicholas Sterge, Undergraduate student

Maryam Tayyab , Undergraduate student

Kimonas Valais, Undergraduate student

Alexandra Wolf, Undergraduate student

Stella Tsirka

Department of Pharmacological Sciences BST8, Rm 192 Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook, NY 11794-8651

Tel: 631-444-3859

Fax: 631-444-3218