Vivian (Thuy-Vi) Nguyen, PhD

Assistant Professor


Department of Neurology

Dr. Nguyen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, specializing in Aging, Dementia, and Neuroinflammation. She earned a PhD from the University of Southern California, in which she investigated neuroprotective mechanisms of sex steroid hormones against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dr. Nguyen then trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buck Institute for Age Research, investigating signaling pathways of neurodegeneration and how modulating these pathways can influence the AD phenotype. As a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University, she focused on pre-clinical testing of small molecule peptides for the p75NTR in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Down syndrome, with the lead ligand currently in clinical trials for AD. There, she also took part in PET imaging studies of activated microglia and deoxyglucose uptake in the brains of treated AD model mice, as a translatable tool for monitoring AD therapy. Now, as part of a multidisciplinary group, Dr. Nguyen applies her 10+ years of experience in dementia research by assessing neurodegeneration, immune responses, and behavior in rodent models of mixed dementia.


PhD: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Publications

Doyle, K.P., Quach, L.N., Solé, M., Axtell, R., Nguyen, T.V., Soler-Llavina, G.J., Jurado, S., Han, J., Steinman, L., Longo, F.M., Schneider, J.A., Malenka, R.C., and Buckwalter, M.S. B-Lymphocyte-mediated delayed cognitive impairment following stroke. J Neurosci. February, 2015; 35(2):2133-2145.


James, M.L., Belichenko, N.P., Nguyen, T.V., Andrews, L.E., Ding, Z., Liu, H., Bodapati, D., Arksey, N., Shen, B., Cheng, Z., Wyss-Coray, T., Gambhir, S.S., Longo, F.M., and Chin, F.T. PET imaging of translocator protein (18kDa) in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease using 18F-PBR06. J Nucl Med. February, 2015; 56(2):311-316.


Nguyen, T.V., Shen, L., Vander Griend, L., Quach, L.N., Belichenko, N.P., Saw, N., Yang, T., Shamloo, M., Wyss-Coray, T., Massa, S.M., and Longo, F.M. Small Molecule p75NTR Ligands Reduce Pathological Phosphorylation and Misfolding of Tau, Inflammatory Changes, Cholinergic Degeneration, and Cognitive Deficits in AβPPL/S Transgenic Mice. J Alzheimers Dis. June, 2014; 42(2):459-483.


Knowles, J.K., Simmons D.A.*, Nguyen, T.V.*, Vander Griend, L., Xie, Y., Zhang, H., Yang, T., Pollak, J., Chang, T., Arancio, O., Massa, S.M., Buckwalter, M., Wyss-Coray, T., and Longo, F.M. A small molecule p75NTR ligand prevents cognitive deficits and neurite degeneration in an Alzheimer’s mouse model. Neurobiol Aging. August, 2013; 34(8):2052-2063.

Faizi, M., Bader, P.L., Saw, N., Nguyen, T.V., Beraki, S., Wyss-Coray, T., Longo, F.M., Shamloo, M. Thy1-hAPP(Lond/Swe+) mouse model of Alzheimer's disease displays broad behavioral deficits in sensorimotor, cognitive and social function. Brain Behav.  March, 2012; 2(2):142-154.

Nguyen, T.V., Jayaraman, A., Quaglino, A., and Pike, C.J. Androgens selectively protect against apoptosis in hippocampal neurons. J Neuroendocrinol. September, 2010; 22(9):1013-1022.


Nguyen, T.V., Yao, M., and Pike, C.J. Dihydrotestosterone activates CREB signaling in cultured hippocampal neurons. Brain Res. November, 2009; 1298:1-12.


Knowles, J.K., Rajadas, J., Nguyen, T.V., Yang, T., LeMieux, M.C., Vander Griend, L., Ishikawa, C., Massa, S.M., Wyss-Coray, T., and Longo, F.M. The p75 neurotrophin receptor promotes amyloid-beta(1-42)-induced neuritic dystrophy in vitro and in vivo. J Neurosci. August, 2009; 29(34):10627-10637.


Pike, C.J., Nguyen, T.V., Ramsden, M., Yao, M., Murphy, M.P., and Rosario, E.R. Androgen cell signaling pathways involved in neuroprotective actions. Review. Horm Behav. May, 2008; 53(5):693-705. (invited)


Yao, M., Nguyen, T.V., Rosario, E.R., Ramsden, M., and Pike, C.J. Androgens regulate neprilysin expression: role in reducing b-amyloid levels. J Neurochem. April, 2008; 105(6):2477-2488.


Nguyen, T.V., Galvan, V., Huang, W., Banwait, S., Tang, H., Zhang, J., and Bredesen, D.E. Signal transduction in Alzheimer disease: p21-activated kinase signaling requires C-terminal cleavage of APP at Asp664. J Neurochem.  February, 2008; 104(4):1065-1080.


Nguyen, T.V., Yao, M., and Pike, C.J. Flutamide and cyproterone acetate exert agonist effects: Induction of androgen receptor-dependent neuroprotection. Endocrinology. June, 2007; 148(6):2936-2943.


Yao, M., Nguyen, T.V., and Pike, C.J. Estrogen regulates Bcl-w and Bim expression: role in protection against beta-amyloid peptide-induced neuronal death. J Neurosci. February, 2007; 27(6):1422-1433.


Chen, M.J., Nguyen, T.V., Pike, C.J., and Russo-Neustadt, A.A. Norepinephrine induces BDNF and activates the PI3K and MAPK cascades in embryonic hippocampal neurons. Cell Signal. January, 2007; 19(1):114-128.


Pike, C.J., Rosario, E.R., and Nguyen, T.V. Androgens, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. Review.  Endocrine. April, 2006; 29(2):1-9.


Nguyen, T.V., Yao, M., and Pike, C.J. Androgens activate mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling: Role in neuroprotection. J Neurochem. September, 2005; 94(6):1639-1651.


Yao, M., Nguyen, T.V., and Pike, C.J. Beta-amyloid-induced neuronal apoptosis involves c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent downregulation of Bcl-w. J Neurosci. February 2, 2005; 25(5):1149-1158.