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Mark A. Anderson, Ph.D.

PostDoc, Department: Brain Mind Institute
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne,

“Influencing axon regeneration after spinal

cord injury”
Abstract: Overcoming axon regeneration failure after spinal cord injury (SCI) has been a longstanding problem due to i) an incom-
plete mechanistic understanding of reasons why axons fail to regenerate and ii) technology capable of probing this question in vivo.
Regeneration failure has classically been attributed to a combination of glial inhibition and poor neuronal growth capacity, but the
degree to which each of these might contribute has been incompletely understood. Advances in genetic engineering and bio-
material development have given us tools to investigate this question in vivo. In this lecture, I will discuss the importance of using
engineering strategies to identify and overcome regeneration failure after SCI. This approach has led to the following findings: i) the
beneficial role of astrocyte scar formation in CNS axon regeneration, and ii) the development of a mechanismbased biological re-
pair strategy to induce robust regeneration of propriospinal neurons into and past sites of anatomically complete SCI. However,
many biological and engineering questions remain regarding modalities to integrate these axons into existing locomotor circuits to
foster functional recovery after severe SCI. I will discuss these aforementioned issues and propose potential solutions, including
ways to expand this repair strategy to other neuronal populations and techniques to use neuroprosthetic rehabilitation in order to
integrate, tune and functionalize regenerating axons.

Monday, January 7, 2019
12:00 PM- 1:00 PM
Hosted By Larry Swanson
Hedco Neuroscience Auditorium/HNB 100
University Park Campus
3641 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089