Timothy O’Shea, Ph.D., from the University of California, Los Angeles, is a candidate for a faculty position in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, part of the cluster hiring initiative in the BioInspired Institute.
Abstract: Following traumatic injury to the adult central nervous system (CNS), neural connectivity is lost and fails to spontaneously regrow. This regeneration failure may be due to an intrinsic inability for damaged neurons to regrow in the adult as well as the formation, and persistence, of a lesion that is devoid of essential axon growth cues. My work is focused on using bioengineered tools (Biomaterials, AAVs, and neural progenitor cells (NPC)) to address these sources of regeneration failure so as to stimulate and chronically support neural circuit repair. The first part of the talk will outline new biological characterizations of the unique multicellular foreign body response (FBR) to biomaterials observed in the CNS and how various biomaterials properties can be manipulated to improve the functionality of these tools in bioengineered neural repair strategies. The second part of the talk will outline how we have used these biomaterial tools in combination with AAVs to stimulate axons to regrow after injury by the sequential re-activation of neuronal growth capacity and the reintroduction of essential molecular factors not present in CNS lesions. The last part of the talk evaluates the application of NPC grafts to CNS injury and outlines gains and remaining challenges in directing the differentiation of these grafts into specific neural cell phenotypes in vivo to provide long-term support to stimulated axon regeneration paradigms.
This event was first published on January 6, 2020 and last updated on January 10, 2020.