|Collaborative MS Research Center Awards > Trapp Team|
The good news is that the body attempts to repair myelin damage and sometimes succeeds, especially early in the MS disease process. The aim of this new, five-year Collaborative MS Research Center award is to find ways to improve these natural repair processes so that they do a more complete job of restoring myelin and preserving neurological functions—findings that can ultimately be applied to people with MS.
Of primary focus in this quest are the immature myelin-producing cells resident in the brain which have the capacity to mature into replacement myelin-making cells called oligodendrocyte, and travel to sites of MS lesions where they are needed to promote tissue repair. The Center team is studying immature myelin "progenitor" cells in various stages of their development, in laboratory conditions and in animal models with MS-like disease. They have two central goals:
This Center brings together four world-class scientists to bear on these important questions about preserving and protecting myelin: Drs. Trapp, Wendy Macklin, and Robert Miller are experts in MS-related central nervous system development and pathology, especially related to development and function of the oligodendrocytes that hold the key to central nervous system protection and repair. Dr. Andrei Gudkov is new to MS research, and brings expertise in identifying molecular targets for cancer treatment. His work in the Center focuses on searching for small molecules that influence the survival, growth and proliferation of progenitor cells that have the inherent capacity to become replacement cells that will form new myelin. Molecules that he discovers could become the basis for testing possible therapies for myelin protection and repair in MS.
Together, this Center's efforts will move the field of myelin protection and repair ahead by bringing into play the collective efforts and wisdom of established investigators on a crucial MS recovery problem.
|Last updated May 9, 2006|