4th year student in Clinical Neurosciences
Human nerve cells rarely regenerate after injury. Conditions that damage nerves, such as spinal cord injury and glaucoma, can therefore cause permanent paralysis or blindness. I identified a protein that induces regeneration after damage to brain cells in a dish or to optic nerves in intact animals. Introducing this protein to human patients via gene therapy has the potential to cause regrowth and functional recovery. By studying how this protein functions, I have identified new pathways for enabling regeneration. This will not only accelerate drug discovery, but will open new avenues for future research into repairing the injured nervous system.