Dr. Mariajose Metcalfe receives NIH award


Dr. Mariajose Metcalfe
Dr. Mariajose Metcalfe

We’re delighted to announce that Dr. Mariajose Metcalfe has received a new two year NIH award for a novel combinatorial strategy using viral vectors to enable regeneration after SCI. As many of you know, there are two major factors that prevent regeneration after SCI: 1) Lack of ability of adult CNS neurons to grow (intrinsic); 2) The inhibitory barriers at the injury site (extrinsic). PTEN inhibition addresses the first, enabling substantial growth of mature neurons, but growth across a lesion site is still impeded. One well-known growth- blocking molecule is chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG), which is expressed by reactive astrocytes that well off the lesion site.

Mariajose’s project will take a novel approach that combines our viral vector strategy to knock down PTEN, which enables neurons to grow with a second viral vector-based strategy to express an enzyme called chondroitinase (ChASE), which degrades CSPG. For more details on the science, see Anatomy 101 by clicking here.

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