Panos Theofilas, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor
+1 415 502-7174

Dr. Theofilas is Assistant Professor at the Memory and Aging Center, UCSF. He obtained his bachelor and masters’ degrees in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and his doctorate at the University of Bonn, Germany, studying apoptosis signaling pathways, mitochondria dysfunction and excitotoxicity in animal models of epilepsy.

In 2012, Dr. Theofilas joined Lea Grinberg’s lab at UCSF to study a network of subcortical nuclei of the isodentritic core in the human brainstem that shows the earliest neurofibrillary changes in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. He conducted integrative analyses of neuronal loss and tangle accumulation in the locus coeruleus and dorsal raphe nucleus using unbiased stereology with immunohistochemistry and advanced graphics computing for three-dimensional brainstem volume reconstructions.

Dr. Theofilas is currently a principal investigator in a study focusing on cell death pathways and their relationship to tau pathology in patients with AD and iPSC culture models. He is particularly interested in proteasome and apoptosis/caspase-related pathways and how these correlate to tau post-translational modifications, tau aggregation, and neurotoxicity in AD.


Quantifying the accretion of hyperphosphorylated tau in the locus coeruleus and dorsal raphe nucleus: the pathological building blocks of early Alzheimer's disease.

Neuropathology and applied neurobiology

Ehrenberg AJ, Nguy AK, Theofilas P, Dunlop S, Suemoto CK, Di Lorenzo Alho AT, Leite RP, Diehl Rodriguez R, Mejia MB, Rüb U, Farfel JM, de Lucena Ferretti-Rebustini RE, Nascimento CF, Nitrini R, Pasquallucci CA, Jacob-Filho W, Miller B, Seeley WW, Heinsen H, Grinberg LT

Automating cell detection and classification in human brain fluorescent microscopy images using dictionary learning and sparse coding.

Journal of neuroscience methods

Alegro M, Theofilas P, Nguy A, Castruita PA, Seeley W, Heinsen H, Ushizima DM, Grinberg LT

Locus coeruleus volume and cell population changes during Alzheimer's disease progression: A stereological study in human postmortem brains with potential implication for early-stage biomarker discovery.

Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association

Theofilas P, Ehrenberg AJ, Dunlop S, Alho AT, Nguy A, Paraizo Leite RE, Rodriguez RD, Mejia MB, Suemoto CK, de Lucena Ferretti-Rebustini RE, Polichiso L, Nascimento CF, Seeley WW, Nitrini R, Pasqualucci CA, Jacob Filho W, Rueb U, Neuhaus J, Heinsen H, Grinberg LT

Turning on the Light Within: Subcortical Nuclei of the Isodentritic Core and their Role in Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Theofilas P, Dunlop S, Heinsen H, Grinberg LT

A novel approach for integrative studies on neurodegenerative diseases in human brains.

Journal of neuroscience methods

Theofilas P, Polichiso L, Wang X, Lima LC, Alho AT, Leite RE, Suemoto CK, Pasqualucci CA, Jacob-Filho W, Heinsen H

Argyrophilic grain disease differs from other tauopathies by lacking tau acetylation.

Acta neuropathologica

Grinberg LT, Wang X, Wang C, Sohn PD, Theofilas P, Sidhu M, Arevalo JB, Heinsen H, Huang EJ, Rosen H, Miller BL, Gan L, Seeley WW

Homeostatic control of synaptic activity by endogenous adenosine is mediated by adenosine kinase.

Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)

Diógenes MJ, Neves-Tomé R, Fucile S, Martinello K, Scianni M, Theofilas P, Lopatár J, Ribeiro JA, Maggi L, Frenguelli BG, Limatola C, Boison D, Sebastião AM

Effect of (S)-3,5-DHPG on microRNA expression in mouse brain.

Experimental neurology

Lusardi TA, Thompson SJ, MacDonald IC, Lan JQ, Theofilas P, Saugstad JA

A ketogenic diet suppresses seizures in mice through adenosine A₁ receptors.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Masino SA, Li T, Theofilas P, Sandau US, Ruskin DN, Fredholm BB, Geiger JD, Aronica E, Boison D

Adenosine kinase as a target for therapeutic antisense strategies in epilepsy.


Theofilas P, Brar S, Stewart KA, Shen HY, Sandau US, Poulsen D, Boison D

Astrocytes derived from fetal neural progenitor cells as a novel source for therapeutic adenosine delivery.


Van Dycke A, Raedt R, Verstraete A, Theofilas P, Wadman W, Vonck K, Boison D, Boon P

The proapoptotic BCL-2 homology domain 3-only protein Bim is not critical for acute excitotoxic cell death.

Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology

Theofilas P, Bedner P, Hüttmann K, Theis M, Steinhäuser C, Frank S

The role of the hippocampus in object recognition in rats: examination of the influence of task parameters and lesion size.

Behavioural brain research

Ainge JA, Heron-Maxwell C, Theofilas P, Wright P, de Hoz L, Wood ER