Myelin repair after traumatic brain injury in early life

Research Opportunity
Honours
Project Status
Future
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Bridgette Semple bridgette.semple@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 90356379 Personal web page

Project Details

Damage to myelin, the insulating sheath surrounding nerves, is a common consequence of traumatic brain injury. Emerging evidence suggests that white matter connectivity problems may underlie social behaviour deficits in other contexts (e.g. autism spectrum disorders), and that enhancing myelination during this critical period of development may reverse these deficits, suggesting that myelination may be a key neuropathological mechanism underlying poor outcomes after brain injury during early life.

Previous findings by our group have found that the neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, enhances myelination by signalling through the TrkB receptor expressed on myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. Here, we aim to: (a) examine the consequences of brain injury in early life on postnatal myelin development, and (b) test whether a specific TrkB agonist can preserve and repair myelin following traumatic brain injury. Experiments may involve behavioural assays, animal handling, and immunohistochemical analysis to evaluate oligodendrocytes, cell death, myelin integrity and TrkB activation. Our findings will provide new proof-of-concept evidence that myelin integrity is critical to functional and neuropathological outcomes, and pave the way for future therapeutic applications.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the supervisor to discuss your options.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital