Timothy O'Shea, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University College of Engineering
Biomedical Engineering

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ME/MEng, Queensland University of Technology
BE/BEng, Queensland University of Technology

Dr. Timothy O'Shea is an Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Boston University. He grew up in Brisbane, Australia and moved to the USA in 2009 for graduate study supported by a John Monash Scholarship. His research group is focused on developing new treatments for brain and spinal cord disorders by engineering glia to perform specific reparative functions. He is interested in understanding how glia respond in injury and disease using animal models and developing new bioengineering tools to regulate their functions. His labs bioengineering toolkit includes biomaterials composed of polymers with supramolecular functionality and tunable physiochemical and biological properties as well as transgenic neural cell lines that we use for transplantation studies and interrogating glia-biomaterial interactions. His current research initiatives include: (i) testing strategies to ‘re-neuralize’ stroke and spinal cord injury lesions by reinstating functional glial frameworks into non-neural lesion cores; (ii) improving the performance of neural implants by regulating the biomaterial-neural interface using glia engineering; and (iii) developing and testing drug delivery strategies to preferentially target therapies to dysfunctional glia responsible for disease.

Nanotherapeutics for targeted glial cell drug delivery
04/01/2024 - 03/31/2026 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

Intravital imaging of transplant evoked glia repair in stroke
07/01/2023 - 06/30/2025 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke

Directing Adaptive Glia Repair in Adult Spinal Cord Injury Using Injectable Biomaterials
01/01/2023 - 12/31/2024 (PI)
Paralyzed Veterans of America

Faculty for the Future Fellowship
07/01/2023 - 06/30/2024 (Key Person / Mentor)
Schlumberger Foundation, Inc.

Glia repair of chronic SCI lesion cores by a sequential enzymatic debridement and cell grafting strategy
07/01/2022 - 06/30/2024 (PI)
Wings for Life

Promoting astroglial maturation of NPC grafts in SCI lesion cores using immunomodulatory hydrogels
07/31/2021 - 01/31/2024 (PI)
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

Faculty for the Future Fellowship
07/01/2022 - 06/30/2023 (Key Person / Mentor)
Schlumberger Foundation, Inc.

Promoting glia-based repair in spinal cord injury
06/01/2021 - 05/31/2022 (PI)
Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. O'Shea TM, Ao Y, Wang S, Ren Y, Cheng AL, Kawaguchi R, Shi Z, Swarup V, Sofroniew MV. Derivation and transcriptional reprogramming of border-forming wound repair astrocytes after spinal cord injury or stroke in mice. Nat Neurosci. 2024 Jun 21. PMID: 38907165
  2. O'Shea TM, Ao Y, Wang S, Wollenberg AL, Kim JH, Ramos Espinoza RA, Czechanski A, Reinholdt LG, Deming TJ, Sofroniew MV. Lesion environments direct transplanted neural progenitors towards a wound repair astroglial phenotype in mice. Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 28; 13(1):5702. PMID: 36171203; PMCID: PMC9519954; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-33382-x;
  3. O’Shea, T.M., Wollenberg, A.L., Kim, J.H., Ao, Y. Deming, T.J. and Sofroniew M.V. Foreign body responses in mouse central nervous system mimic natural wound responses and alter biomaterial functions. Nature Communications. 2020; 11:6203.
  4. *Garrett, M.C., O’Shea, T.M., Wollenberg, A.L., Bernstein, A.M., Hung, D., Staarman, B., Soto, H., Deming, T.J., Sofroniew M.V., and Kornblum, H.I. Injectable diblock copolypeptide hydrogel provides platform to maintain high local concentrations of taxol and local tumor control. Plos One. 2020; 15 (7):e0219632.
  5. Anderson MA, O'Shea TM, Burda JE, Ao Y, Barlatey SL, Bernstein AM, Kim JH, James ND, Rogers A, Kato B, Wollenberg AL, Kawaguchi R, Coppola G, Wang C, Deming TJ, He Z, Courtine G, Sofroniew MV. Required growth facilitators propel axon regeneration across complete spinal cord injury. Nature. 2018 09; 561(7723):396-400. PMID: 30158698; PMCID: PMC6151128; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0467-6;
  6. Wollenberg AL, O'Shea TM, Kim JH, Czechanski A, Reinholdt LG, Sofroniew MV, Deming TJ. Injectable polypeptide hydrogels via methionine modification for neural stem cell delivery. Biomaterials. 2018 09; 178:527-545. PMID: 29657091; PMCID: PMC6054810; DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.03.057;
  7. *Anderson, M.A., *O’Shea, T.M., Burda, J.E., Ao, Y., Barlatey, S.L., Bernstein A.M., Kim, J.H., James, N.D., Rogers, A., Kato, B., Wollenberg, A.L., Kawaguchi, R., Coppola, G., Wang, C., Deming, T.J., He, Z., Courtine, G., and Sofroniew M.V. Required growth facilitators propel axon regeneration across complete spinal cord injury. Nature. 2018; 561:396–400.
  8. Wollenberg, A.L. *O’Shea, T.M., Kim, J., Sofroniew M.V., and Deming, T.J. Injectable polypeptide hydrogels via methionine modification for neural stem cell delivery. Biomaterials. 2018; 178:527-545.
  9. Sun Y, Wollenberg AL, O'Shea TM, Cui Y, Zhou ZH, Sofroniew MV, Deming TJ. Conformation-Directed Formation of Self-Healing Diblock Copolypeptide Hydrogels via Polyion Complexation. J Am Chem Soc. 2017 10 25; 139(42):15114-15121. PMID: 28976744; PMCID: PMC6037417; DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b08190;
  10. Martinez-Moreno M, O'Shea TM, Zepecki JP, Olaru A, Ness JK, Langer R, Tapinos N. Regulation of Peripheral Myelination through Transcriptional Buffering of Egr2 by an Antisense Long Non-coding RNA. Cell Rep. 2017 Aug 22; 20(8):1950-1963. PMID: 28834756; PMCID: PMC5800313; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.07.068;
Showing 10 of 32 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 32 publications over 11 distinct years, with a maximum of 11 publications in 2017


2019 Wings for Life Spinal Cord Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
2018 American Australian Association Keith Murdoch Scholarship
2018 Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Research Foundation Fellowship
2016 Craig H Neilsen Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Spinal Cord Injury Research
2015 MISTI Global Seed Fund Student Award for research collaboration with Ben Gurion University, Israel
2015 HST Martha Gray Prize for Excellence in Research
2013 Langer Summit on Neurotrauma Prize
2012 HST Idea2 Fellowship for novel and inspiring ideas in medical research
2012 Society of Chemical Industry Perkins Student Scholarship
2010 Ohio State University: Spinal Cord Injury Training Program
2009 Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Fellowship
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44 Cummington St, Boston MA 02215
Boston MA 02215
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