Welcome to the VILLAPOL LAB!

Our lab pursues novel neurorestorative treatments for brain recovery through the lens of the periphery.

The Villapol Lab’s mission at Houston Methodist Research Institute is to look for novel neurorestorative treatments for brain recovery through the lens of the periphery.

Our lab studies the inflammatory and neurodegenerative mechanisms triggered after brain trauma or stroke in a sex-dependent manner. The laboratory is also investigating the contribution of peripheral signals and the gut microbiome to brain pathology.

Currently, we are using our resources and expertise to focus on understanding the role of the gut microbiome in acute and long COVID-19.

Research Topics

  1. The Role of Peripheral Inflammation on Brain Damage
  2. Concussions and the gut microbiome. Clinical Research: exploring the brain-microbiome connection
  3. Nanoparticles for brain injury: Neuro-Nanomedicine
  4. Nano-Neurothecnology AND Brain injury: First Biological responders
  5. The Role of Microbiome in the Neuropathology of Traumatic Brain Injury
  6. Precision-based microbiota therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
  7. Epigenomic memory of estrogen in Alzheimer’s disease


Our lab was selected for the Houston Methodist Academic Institute Award for Excellence in Peer-Reviewed Publication!


Welcome to the lab, Hannah!!

Hannah Flinn obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University in August of 2021. She then joined the research team with Dr. Sonia Villapol to further build her skills in laboratory research. Outside of work, she loves being a mom to her rescue dog, Willie, and exploring the best coffee shops in town.

Our Team

Sirena Soriano, PhD

Morgan Holcomb, BS

Hannah Flinn

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Research Outputs