Dr. Tiina Kauppinen


Tiina M. Kauppinen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Manitoba
Principle Investigator, Neuroscience Research Program, Health Sciences Center
Researcher, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Phone: (204) 789 3846

Research Focus:

My research centers on the role of neuroinflammation, specific inflammatory responses of central nervous system cells, particularly activation of microglia (brain immune cells) and astrocytes/astroglia (brain support cells), on neurological disorders.

Neuroinflammation has been established as an important contributor in neurological conditions, including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. In addition, a growing body of evidence suggests the presence of chronic inflammatory component also in developmental origin of cognitive impairments seen as a result of fetal gestational diabetes exposure. Although activation of microglia and astroglia, and elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines correlate with neuronal death, the cause-and-effect relationship between glial activation and neuronal damage is not clear. While glial release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, free radicals, and proteases can be detrimental to neurons, their ability to phagocyte (microglia), support neuronal metabolism (astroglia), release of trophic factors and antioxidants, and support of synaptic plasticity (microglia) can be beneficial for repair and recovery process.

My research laboratory investigates 1) how neuroinflammatory cells (microglia, astroglia and circulating peripheral cells) are involved in neurodegeneration and neurogenesis; 2) how microglial functions are regulated, 3) how to modulate microglial responses towards neuroprotective phenotype; and 4) how to harness them to promote brain health and recovery in acute (stroke, traumatic brain injury) and chronic (Alzheimer’s disease) central nervous system disorders, brain tumours, and in neurodevelopmental disturbances.

My laboratory has recently developed approaches to directly and exclusively target microglial cells, which allows us to directly address their role in neuroinflammation and nervous system disorders. In our studies we employ in vitro and in vivo approaches, such as functional genomics, cell-specific gene delivery, imaging techniques, and behavioural tests.

The research has been funded by grants from Alzheimer Society of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada, Manitoba Health Research Council, Manitoba Institute of Child Health and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.






Dr. Tiina Kauppinen

Dr. Tiina Kauppinen
Area of research: Neuropharmacology & Neurodegenerative Disorders & Neurodevelopment

Dr. Tiina Kauppinen
Grant Amount: $1 051 875 from Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
April /2019 – March 2024

Dr. Tiina Kauppinen
Grant Amount: $ 130 000 from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
April 8/2017 – March 2022 

Dr. Tiina Kauppinen
Grant Amount: $60 000 Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)
July 2018 – June 2020

Dr. Tiina Kauppinen
Grant Amount: $298 800 from Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada
July 2016 - June 2019