Divine Nwafor, MD, PhD


Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctorate in Neuroscience – MD/Ph.D. West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV.                         Dissertation title: Targeting the cerebrovasculature in sepsis: A focus on the brain microvascular endothelium

Bachelor of Science – Biochemistry, Summa Cum Laude, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. Minor – Biology (Emphasis in Neurobiology), West Virginia University.

Email: Jgx9as@uvahealth.org


Investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms that preserve Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) function may help mitigate Blood-Brain Barrier dysfunction and improve long-term cognitive impairment in several neurological conditions.

NIH T32 Stroke Associate Scholar: The objective of this fellowship position was to study the role of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) enzyme in brain endothelial cells following stroke.


American Physician Scientist Association (APSA) Travel Award

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honorary Society Member

Vanderbilt Neurosurgery Sub-Internship Scholarship

Brains For Brain Foundation Cold Spring Habor Laboratory Brain Barriers Scholarship

WVU Department of Neuroscience Excellence Award

Peer-Reviewed Published Journal Articles

  1. Nwafor DC, Kirby BD, Ralston JD, Colantonio MA, Ibekwe E, Lucke-Wold B. Neurocognitive Sequelae and Rehabilitation after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Optimizing Outcomes. J Vasc Dis. 2023 Jun;2(2):197-211. doi: 10.3390/jvd2020014. Epub 2023 Apr 1. PMID: 37082756; PMCID: PMC10111247.
  2. Nwafor DC, Brichacek AL, Rallo MS, Bidwai N and Marsh RA (2023) Subarachnoid hemorrhage: New insights on pathogenesis. Front. Stroke 2:1110506. doi: 10.3389/fstro.2023.1110506
  3. Haggerty T, Sedney CL, Dekeseredy P, Nwafor D, Brownstein HH, Caretta MA, Pollini RA. Pain Management During West Virginia’s Opioid Crisis. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 Oct 18;35(5):940-950. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.05.220097. PMID: 36257694.
  4. Nwafor D, Goeckeritz J, Hasanpour Z, Davidson C, Lucke-Wold B. Nutritional Support Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Comprehensive Review. Explor Res Hypothesis Med. Published online: Aug 15, 2022. doi: 10.14218/ERHM.2022.00086
  5. Colantonio MA, Nwafor DC, Jaiswal S, Shrestha AK, Elkhooly M, Rollins S, Wen S, Sriwastava S. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated optic neuritis and myelitis in COVID-19: a case report and a review of the literature. Egypt J Neurol Psychiatr Neurosurg. 2022;58(1):62. doi: 10.1186/s41983-022-00496-4. Epub 2022 May 31. PMID: 35668818; PMCID: PMC9152836.
  6. Nwafor DC, Brichacek AL, Foster CH, Lucke-Wold BP, Ali A, Colantonio MA, Brown CM, Qaiser R. Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: An Update on Preclinical Models, Clinical Biomarkers, and the Implications of Cerebrovascular Dysfunction. J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2022 May 22;14:11795735221098125. doi: 10.1177/11795735221098125. PMID: 35620529; PMCID: PMC9127876.
  7. Clark A, Zelmanovich R, Vo Q, Martinez M, Nwafor DC, Lucke-Wold B. Inflammation and the role of infection: Complications and treatment options following neurotrauma. J Clin Neurosci. 2022 Jun;100:23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2022.03.043. Epub 2022 Apr 2. PMID: 35381478.
  8. Sedney CL, Haggerty T, Dekeseredy P, Nwafor D, Caretta MA, Brownstein HH, Pollini RA. “The DEA would come in and destroy you”: a qualitative study of fear and unintended consequences among opioid prescribers in WV. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2022 Mar 10;17(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s13011-022-00447-5. PMID: 35272687; PMCID: PMC8908632.
  9. Sriwastava S, Shrestha AK, Khalid SH, Colantonio MA, Nwafor D, Srivastava S. Spectrum of Neuroimaging Findings in Post-COVID-19 Vaccination: A Case Series and Review of Literature. Neurol Int. 2021 Nov 19;13(4):622-639. doi: 10.3390/neurolint13040061. PMID: 34842783; PMCID: PMC8628885.
  10. Nwafor DC, Brichacek AL, Ali A, Brown CM. Tissue-Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase in Central Nervous System Health and Disease: A Focus on Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 17;22(10):5257. doi: 10.3390/ijms22105257. PMID: 34067629; PMCID: PMC8156423.
  11. Nwafor DC. Targeting the cerebrovasculature in sepsis: A focus on the brain microvascular endothelium (2021). Doctorate in Neuroscience Dissertation Research. https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/etd/8340
  12. Weil ZM, Karelina K, Whitehead B, Velazquez-Cruz R, Oliverio R, Pinti M, Nwafor DC, Nicholson S, Fitzgerald JA, Hollander J, Brown CM, Zhang N, DeVries AC. Mild traumatic brain injury increases vulnerability to cerebral ischemia in mice. Exp Neurol. 2021 Aug;342:113765. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2021.113765. Epub 2021 May 13. PMID: 33992581; PMCID: PMC8210428.
  13. Small C, Nwafor D, Patel D, Dawoud F, Dagra A, Ciporen J, Lucke-Wold B. Crisis Management Simulation: Review of Current Experience. SunText Rev Neurosci Psychol. 2021;2(1):126. doi: 10.51737/2766-4503.2021.026. Epub 2021 Mar 27. PMID: 33928268; PMCID: PMC8081329.
  14. Sprowls SA, Pizzuti VJ, Pentz W, Nwafor DC, Siochi RAC, Lockman PR. Irradiator Commissioning and Dosimetry for Assessment of LQ α and β Parameters, Radiation Dosing Schema, and in vivo Dose Deposition. J Vis Exp. 2021 Mar 11;(169):10.3791/61692. doi: 10.3791/61692. PMID: 33779614; PMCID: PMC8521631.
  15. Nwafor DC, Chakraborty S, Jun S, Brichacek AL, Dransfeld M, Gemoets DE, Dakhlallah D, Brown CM. Disruption of metabolic, sleep, and sensorimotor functional outcomes in a female transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Behav Brain Res. 2021 Feb 1;398:112983. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112983. Epub 2020 Nov 1. PMID: 33137399; PMCID: PMC7719580.
  16. Nwafor DC, Brown CM. A novel role for tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase at the blood-brain barrier during sepsis. Neural Regen Res. 2021 Jan;16(1):99-100. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.286958. PMID: 32788453; PMCID: PMC7818867.
  17. Nwafor, DC, Brichacek, A.L, Chakraborty, S., Gambill, C., Benkovic, S., & Brown, C.M.  (2020, March 31). Neuroendocrine and Neuroimmune Mechanisms Regulating the Blood-Brain Barrier. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience.doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190264086.013.307
  18. Kundu B, Lucke-Wold B, Foster C, Englot DJ, Urhie O, Nwafor D, Rolston JD. Fornicotomy for the Treatment of Epilepsy: An Examination of Historical Literature in the Setting of Modern Operative Techniques. Neurosurgery. 2020 Aug 1;87(2):157-165. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyz554. PMID: 31885037; PMCID: PMC8101091.
  19. Brichacek AL, Benkovic SA, Chakraborty S, Nwafor DC, Wang W, Jun S, Dakhlallah D, Geldenhuys WJ, Pinkerton AB, Millán JL, Brown CM. Systemic inhibition of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase alters the brain-immune axis in experimental sepsis. Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 11;9(1):18788. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55154-2. PMID: 31827139; PMCID: PMC6906465.
  20. Nwafor DC, Chakraborty S, Brichacek AL, Jun S, Gambill CA, Wang W, Engler-Chiurazzi EB, Dakhlallah D, Pinkerton AB, Millán JL, Benkovic SA, Brown CM. Loss of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) enzyme activity in cerebral microvessels is coupled to persistent neuroinflammation and behavioral deficits in late sepsis. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Feb;84:115-131. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.11.016. Epub 2019 Nov 25. PMID: 31778743; PMCID: PMC7010562.
  21. Nwafor DC, Petrone AB, Collins JM, Adcock AK. Paraneoplastic Opsoclonus Myoclonus in a Patient with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Case Rep Neurol Med. 2019 Apr 16;2019:3601026. doi: 10.1155/2019/3601026. PMID: 31139479; PMCID: PMC6500640.
  22. Nwafor DC, Brichacek AL, Mohammad AS, Griffith J, Lucke-Wold BP, Benkovic SA, Geldenhuys WJ, Lockman PR, Brown CM. Targeting the Blood-Brain Barrier to Prevent Sepsis-Associated Cognitive Impairment. J Cent Nerv Syst Dis. 2019 Apr 9;11:1179573519840652. doi: 10.1177/1179573519840652. PMID: 31007531; PMCID: PMC6456845.
  23. Nwafor D, Radwan W, Lucke-Wold B, Underwood W, Gyure K, Marsh R. Follicular lymphoma presenting as scalp mass deformity: Case Report and Review of the literature. Biomed Res Clin Pract. 2018;3(1):10.15761/BRCP.1000155. doi: 10.15761/BRCP.1000155. Epub 2018 Feb 24. PMID: 30057944; PMCID: PMC6059655.
  24. Lucke-Wold B, Nolan R, Nwafor D, Nguyen L, Cheyuo C, Turner R, Rosen C, Marsh R. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Delineating the Progression and Underlying Mechanisms Following Blast Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurosci Neuropharmacol. 2018;4(1):118. Epub 2018 Mar 2. PMID: 29888766; PMCID: PMC5993449.