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VIC Stem Cell Network Special Seminar - 8 February 2016

12:00 PM - Monday 08 February, 2016
Join us to hear Dr Kirsty Dixon from Virginia Commonwealth University discuss the role and regulation of endogeneous neural stem cells following traumatic brain injury.

DATE: Monday 8 February 2016
TIME: 12 noon
VENUE: Level 5 Seminar Room, Melbourne Brain Centre, The University of Melbourne
TITLE: The role and regulation of endogeneous NSCs following traumatic brain injury

ABSTRACT: Although a myriad of pathological responses contribute to traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebral dysfunction has been closely linked to cell death mechanisms. A number of therapeutic strategies have been studied in an attempt to minimize or ameliorate tissue damage; however, few studies have evaluated the inherent protective capacity of the brain. Endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) reside in distinct brain regions and have been shown to respond to tissue damage by migrating to regions of injury.  Transgenically ablating the NSC population has shown these NSCs stabilize the injury site by regulating the inflammatory response, and enhancing neuronal survival  which is associated with improvements in motor function.  Further to this, ephrinB3, a ligand for a receptor protein-tyrosine kinases EphB3 and EphA4, regulates NSC proliferation and migration into the injured environment.  Transgenically removing ephrinB3 results in enhanced migration, while infusing ephrinB3-Fc into the injured cortex reverses this effect.  EphrinB3 also modulates how the NSCs migrate in then injured cortex:  chain migration versus single dissociated cell migration.

BIO: Kirsty Dixon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She is funded by departmental funds under the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC), which is a federally funded research project devised to address the long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury in military service members (SMs) and Veterans. Announced by President Barack Obama on August 20, 2013, the CENC is one of two major initiatives developed in response to injuries incurred by U.S. service personnel during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) as part of the National Research Action Plan. CENC is a $65M grant to establish research collaborations between more than 30 universities, non-profit research organizations, VA medical centers, and military medical centers. It is made up of a leadership core, five infrastructure cores, ten active studies, a data safety monitoring committee, a Consumer Advisory Board, a Scientific Advisory Board, and an independent granting mechanism to foster additional research in the area of chronic effects after mTBI.  Kirsty Dixon’s laboratory at VCU investigates repair mechanisms of traumatic brain injury, focussing on neural stem cell migration and attenuation of injury-induced acute and chronic pain.