Esteban Oyarzabal

Esteban Oyarzabal


Esteban Oyarzabal completed his B.S. degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Beloit College in 2006. After graduating he worked at Oregon Health and Science University under the direction of Drs. Mingyue Liu and Patricia Hurn investigating how sex-specific epigenetic differences in astrocytes play a role in the sex differences observed in the incidence of stroke. In 2009 he briefly worked with Dr. Carol Colton at Duke University investigating whether stress and metabolic syndrome could accelerate the development of behavioral phenotypes in 3xTg mice of Alzheimer’s disease before matriculating into an M.S. program in the department of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Gilling’s School of Global Public Health at the UNC-Chapel Hill.  His dissertation research was conducted in the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science under the direction of Dr. Jau-Shyong Hong investigating the role of astrocytes during initiation of innate immune responses to the inflammogen lipopolysaccharide.  Esteban is currently a member Dr. Ian Shih’s lab where he now studies the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegeneration using multi-modal imaging techniques including MRI, uCT and PET. 


Esteban’s work in the Shih Lab focuses on understanding the pathological role of low-grade neuroinflammation on microvascular circulation—and thus on brain function and neurovascular coupling.  Using a mouse model of chronic neuroinflammation with delayed and progressive degeneration that recapitulates Parkinson’s disease with dementia, Esteban is attempting to determine whether cerebrovascular dysfunction drives neurodegeneration through metabolic insufficiencies. 



Integrated Vascular Biology Training Grant, 2014-2017
NIH Intramural Research Training Award, 2013
NIH Ruth L. Kirshstein Training Grant, 2012
NIH Summer Internship Program, 2011
NSF-AGEP Scholar, 2010-2011
Charles Winter Woods Scholar, 2002-2006

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