Zoe Tapp

Zoe Tapp

Zoe Tapp

Co-Advisors: Olga (Niki) Kokiko-Cochran and Jonathan Godbout


(614) 366-3496

247 Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research
460 Medical Center Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Neurotrauma, Neurological Disorders, and Gene/Clinical Thera
  • Stress and Neuroimmunology


  • BS in Neuroscience (2017), University of Pittsburgh


Approximately 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the US alone. Emergency and neurological medicine have advanced significantly over the last several years and as a result mortality after TBI has significantly decreased – with this, however, comes the question of what are the long term consequences of TBI? A majority of TBI occurs in children and young adults under the age of 25 and are single incidence – meaning they aren’t repetitive injuries such as one would attribute to football. Though these people only suffer a single injury, very deleterious symptoms can occur both acutely and chronically after injury that have a lifetime impact on an individual.

It is well known that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is dysfunctional after TBI and can result in hypopituitarism with decreased levels of adrenocorticotriopic hormone (ACTH), the precursor to “stress hormone” – cortisol in humans, corticosterone in mice – which is released in response to stress and is important for organisms to maintain homeostasis. Sleep disorders, a common co-morbidity with TBI, can act as a stressor after injury because of disruption in the sleep/wake cycle, and when in conjunction with a compromised HPA axis can lead to neuroinflammation. This neuroinflammation, in turn, may lead to the development of chronic disorders such as anxiety and depression. Under the guidance of my co-advisors, Dr. Niki Kokiko-Cochran and Dr. Jon Godbout, my lab focuses on the acute and chronic effects of sleep disruption as a stressor after single incidence TBI.


2020 - Outstanding Graduate Research Poster, The Ohio State University Chronic Brain Injury Discovery Theme Research Day

2020 - Training Program in Neuroimmunology T32 Fellow (2-year award)

2019 - Service Award, The Ohio State University Department of Neuroscience


Zoe M Tapp, Julia E Kumar, Kristina G Witcher, Ravitej R Atluri, John A Velasquez, Shane M O’Neil, Julia E Dziabis, Chelsea E Bray, John F Sheridan, Jonathan P Godbout, Olga N Kokiko-Cochran (2020) Sleep Disruption Exacerbates and Prolongs the Inflammatory Response to Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma 37(16):1829-1843.

Tapp ZM, Godbout JP, Kokiko-Cochran ON. (2019) A Tilted Axis: Maladaptive Inflammation and HPA Axis Dysfunction Contribute to Consequences of TBI. Front Neurol. 10:345. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00345. 

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