A headshot photo of James W. Simpkins.

James W. Simpkins, PhD

Director, Center for Basic & Translational Stroke Research; Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Contact Information

PO Box 9303
108 Biomedical Road
BMRC 105
Morgantown, WV 26506


  • Department of Neuroscience
  • Department of Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

Graduate Training

  • PhD, Physiology, Michigan State University
  • MS, Biology, University of Toledo

Research Interests

  1. We assess the role of mitochondria in stroke propensity and stroke damage. These studies are aims at identifying the mechanism by which mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to stroke damage and the possibility of targeting drugs to these mitochondrial defects as a therapy for prevention/acute treatment of stroke.
  2. Assessment of vaious classes of drugs on neuroprotection in stroke and AD. We have a drug discovery program that attempts to discover novel compounds with efficacy in stroke and AD. One such class of compounds we have termed non-feminizing estrogens.

Structure and stroke protective effects of a non-feminizing estrogen (ZYC3)

  1. We assess the effects of beta amyloid on mitochondrial function to determine how this neurotoxic peptide causes loss of synapses and neurons in the brain.  

Short-term treatment with beta amyloid (Abeta) causes a profound decline in mitochondrial function in promary neuronal cultures.