Monica A. Pessina, PhD

Assistant Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Monica Pessina
72 E. Concord St Housman (R)


Dr. Pessina received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, followed by a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. Prior to assuming a full time academic appointment at BUSM, she gained extensive experience at Massachusetts General Hospital in the field of upper extremity rehabilitation following orthopedic, neurological and burn injuries. In addition, she is the former Director of Rehabilitation at Shriners Burns Institute and she continues to work as an educator in the field of burn rehabilitation both nationally and internationally. Dr. Pessina currently teaches Gross Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy at BU School of Medicine and BU Goldman School of Dental Medicine where she serves in various roles including Course Director, Section Leader, Lecturer and Laboratory Instructor. As an extension of her clinical interests, Dr. Pessina is currently pursuing research related to the return of motor function after cortical injury in a primate model.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Boston University, PhD
  • Northeastern University, MEd
  • Boston University, BS

Classes Taught

  • AN725
  • FA712
  • GMS AN 723
  • GMS AN 726
  • GMS AN 805
  • GMS AN804
  • GMS AN805
  • MD 511
  • MD MS142
  • MD510
  • SDM OS530 A1


  • Published on 5/15/2023

    Zhou Y, Bhatt H, Mojica CA, Xin H, Pessina M, Rosene DL, Moore TL, Medalla M. Mesenchymal-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Enhance Microglia-mediated Synapse Remodeling after Cortical Injury in Rhesus Monkeys. Res Sq. 2023 May 15. PMID: 37292805.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/18/2022

    Calderazzo S, Covert M, Alba D, Bowley BE, Pessina MA, Rosene DL, Buller B, Medalla M, Moore TL. Neural recovery after cortical injury: Effects of MSC derived extracellular vesicles on motor circuit remodeling in rhesus monkeys. IBRO Neurosci Rep. 2022 Dec; 13:243-254. PMID: 36590089.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/9/2021

    Bottenfield KR, Bowley BGE, Pessina MA, Medalla M, Rosene DL, Moore TL. Sex differences in recovery of motor function in a rhesus monkey model of cortical injury. Biol Sex Differ. 2021 10 09; 12(1):54. PMID: 34627376.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/29/2020

    Go V, Sarikaya D, Zhou Y, Bowley BGE, Pessina MA, Rosene DL, Zhang ZG, Chopp M, Finklestein SP, Medalla M, Buller B, Moore TL. Extracellular vesicles derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells enhance myelin maintenance after cortical injury in aged rhesus monkeys. Exp Neurol. 2021 03; 337:113540. PMID: 33264634.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/2/2020

    Medalla M, Chang W, Calderazzo SM, Go V, Tsolias A, Goodliffe JW, Pathak D, De Alba D, Pessina M, Rosene DL, Buller B, Moore TL. Treatment with Mesenchymal-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Reduces Injury-Related Pathology in Pyramidal Neurons of Monkey Perilesional Ventral Premotor Cortex. J Neurosci. 2020 04 22; 40(17):3385-3407. PMID: 32241837.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/6/2019

    Go V, Bowley BGE, Pessina MA, Zhang ZG, Chopp M, Finklestein SP, Rosene DL, Medalla M, Buller B, Moore TL. Extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stem cells reduce microglial-mediated neuroinflammation after cortical injury in aged Rhesus monkeys. Geroscience. 2020 02; 42(1):1-17. PMID: 31691891.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/15/2019

    Orczykowski ME, Calderazzo SM, Shobin E, Pessina MA, Oblak AL, Finklestein SP, Kramer BC, Mortazavi F, Rosene DL, Moore TL. Cell based therapy reduces secondary damage and increases extent of microglial activation following cortical injury. Brain Res. 2019 08 15; 1717:147-159. PMID: 30998931.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2019

    Pessina MA, Bowley BGE, Rosene DL, Moore TL. A method for assessing recovery of fine motor function of the hand in a rhesus monkey model of cortical injury: an adaptation of the Fugl-Meyer Scale and Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation. Somatosens Mot Res. 2019 03; 36(1):69-77. PMID: 31072219.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Moore TL, Bowley BGE, Pessina MA, Calderazzo SM, Medalla M, Go V, Zhang ZG, Chopp M, Finklestein S, Harbaugh AG, Rosene DL, Buller B. Mesenchymal derived exosomes enhance recovery of motor function in a monkey model of cortical injury. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2019; 37(4):347-362. PMID: 31282441.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/12/2018

    Zhang M, Pessina MA, Higgs JB, Kissin EY. A Vascular Obstacle in Ultrasound-Guided Hip Joint Injection. J Med Ultrasound. 2018 Apr-Jun; 26(2):77-80. PMID: 30065523.

    Read at: PubMed

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