Kelsy Nilles

Kelsy Nilles

Current Lab
Ronaldson Lab
Rotation Labs
Dr. Daniela Zarnescu
Dr. Martha Bhattacharya
Dr. Patrick Ronaldson
Dr. Elizabeth Hutchinson

I am an individual who loves people. I try to exemplify this through my every day interactions, as well as through my work as a lecturer and researcher. Specifically, I am motivated to benefit society by increasing quality of life for those who suffer from untreatable and life altering disease. In the Ronaldson Laboratory, I am able to study many aspects of stroke and neurodegenerative disease; specifically, I am interested in the role of the brain's resident immune cells, microglia, and their interaction with the blood-brain barrier (BBB) after arterial occlusion. My goal is to discover a pathway and ultimately, a molecule, to manipulate this interaction to provide protection and/or relief from the symptoms associated with stroke. 

Other interests include: Scientific promotion, communication, and advocacy; teaching; diversity advocacy in science; mindfulness, meditation, and consciousness; all things music (listening, seeing, playing); my yellow lab service dog and bearded dragon; social media (check out our Neuro accounts on Instagram and Twitter, both @UAzNeuroGIDP)!!


Aboualizadeh E, Phillips MJ, McGregor JE, et al. Imaging Transplanted Photoreceptors in Living Nonhuman Primates with Single-Cell Resolution [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 21]. Stem Cell Reports. 2020;S2213-6711(20)30240-X. doi:10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.06.019


  • B.A. Neuroscience and Psychology, Carthage College


Scientific Communication

Research Interests

Neurodegeneration, Stroke, Microglia, BBB, Alzheimer's Disease