​​​​Neli P. Ragina

CMU College of Medicine and CMU Surgical Disciplines

Specialty: Genetics, Stem Cell Biology, Epigenetics, Molecular Biology, Clinical and Biomedical Investigations

CMED Research Building, Room 117
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-2496
Fax: 989-774-3752

Neli P. Ragina, PhD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Genetics in the Foundational Sciences Discipline and Surgical Disciplines in the CMU College of Medicine.
Dr. Ragina received her Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Sofia "St. Kliment Ohridski" with a minor in Clinical Chemistry. Her worked focused on deciphering novel genetic polymorphisms associated with Balkan Endemic Nephropathy.

Dr. Ragina received her PhD from Michigan State University in 2011. Dr. Ragina's PhD work was centered on the molecular mechanisms restricting the differentiation potential of parthenogenetically derived embryonic stem cells. Outside of her stem cell work, Dr. Ragina has worked in the area of epigenetics, focusing on the role of Polycomb gene complexes during fertilization.

Dr. Ragina completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. There she developed translational research projects in two major areas: adult stem cell research and immunonutrition. Her stem cell study focused on deciphering the therapeutic potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to treat chronic radiation wounds. Her immunonutritional work centered on studying the levels of Citrulline, Arginine, ADMA and SDMA in affecting the NO bioavailability, and thus their role in improving recovery during sepsis and major surgery.

Dr. Ragina's current research is translational in nature, combining stem cell and molecular biology with sophisticated biochemical tools. Her research focuses on exploring the role of Citrulline as an immune modulator, and also the role of epigenetics and adult stem cells in the severity and treatment of chronic radiation wounds.  

Education & Fellowships:
  • Post-Doctoral:
    • University of Sothern California
      Keck School of Medicine
      Department of Surgery
      Advisor: Anthony J Senagore, MD, MS, MBA
      Los Angeles, CA
  • PhD:
    • Michigan State University
      PhD, Genetics
      Genetics Program
      Advisor: Jose B Cibelli, DVM, PhD
      East Lansing, MI
  • M.Sc.:
    • Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
      Master of Science, Molecular Biology
      Department of Biology
      Advisor: Verban Ganev, MD
Specialty Interests:
Genetics, Stem Cell Biology, Epigenetics, Molecular Biology, Clinical Trials

Awards & Honors:
  • "Yong Researcher's Award," 2012
    • 21st Congress of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Geneva, Switzerland, September 4-8, 2012
  • Genetics Program Travelling Fellowship, Graduate School Travelling award, International Studies travelling fellowship, Michigan State University
  • REU Graduate Mentor Fellowship, Genetics Program
    • Michigan State University
  • First award for oral presentation
    • International Congress of Medical Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2013 – present American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Research Committee Member
  • 2013 –present American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Publications Review Committee Member
  • 2012–present American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N)
  • 2012 – present South California Clinical Translational Science Institute (SC-CTSI) – Grants Review Committee Member
  • 2012 – 2013 Graduate Student Committee Member, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2011-present The Genetics Society of America
  • 2009-present MSU Sigma Xi Chapter (National Honor Society)
  • 2008-present American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2006-present International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)
  • 2006 Council of Graduate Students, Representative of the Genetic Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • 2005 Dean Student Advisory Committee, Representative of the Genetic Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Language Spoken:
  • English, Bulgarian, Russian, Spanish