My main research interests are in regenerative medicine for neurological disorders and in neuro-immunology.
My lab was the first to describe the immune-modulatory and neuroprotective properties of neural stem cells, and their beneficial effects in animal models of multiple sclerosis. We also were first to show that transplanted neural stem cells induce the facilitation of myelin repair by the brain`s own resident precursor cells. These findings formed the rationale for clinical translation of cell therapy in multiple sclerosis.
We studied the bilateral interactions between the brain and neural stem cells for identification of physiological roles of adult brain resident precursor cells, as well as to clinical translation of cell therapy. For example:
1. The attraction of neural stem cell migration by inflammatory processes and the specific role of microglia and of chemokines in this process.
2. The effect of local brain environment on the survival and function of transplanted stem cells.
Currently, my PhD and MSc students in the lab are working on several projects, such as:
1. Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell – derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in a clinical-relevant model of chronic multiple sclerosis to test their regenerative and functional therapeutic effects.
2. Functional properties of resident neural precursor cells of the adult brain.
3. The cellular and molecular basis for neurotrophic and immune-regulatory effects of neural stem cells and loss of these functions in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
4. Inducing immunomodulation and repair (neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis) in chronic CNS-compartmentalized neuroinflammatory conditions