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Novel targets to enhance axonal repair after spinal cord injury

48 months
Approved budget:
Dr Laura Gumy
Dr Simon O'Carroll
Professor Peter Fineran
Dr Torsten Kleffmann
Dr Melissa Andrews
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
New strategies to overcome spinal cord injuries are urgently required. The spinal cord is composed of a bundle nerves (axons) that connect neurons in the brain with the rest of the body. Traumatic injury to the spinal cord results in disconnection of axons from their target organs. This leads to permanent disability because the severed axons fail to regrow. We recently discovered that axon regeneration can be enhanced by modulation of intracellular transport pathways. We will take advantage of novel proteomics assays, high-resolution live imaging, and optogenetic tools to identify the molecules and mechanism(s) responsible for promoting intracellular transport-dependent axon regeneration. By using this information to alter gene expression, we will establish the importance of transport pathways for regulating axonal repair in vivo. This work is critical for identifying new therapeutic targets to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury.