Dana McTigue

Associate Professor, Dept. of Neuroscience
Mentor Faculty


Current Research Description

Ongoing projects include the following: 1) Use models of demyelination to assess changes in oligodendrocytes and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). These models are used to assess treatment strategies to enhance myelin sparing and remyelination as well as axon preservation. 2) Determine the response of oligodendrocytes and OPCs to spinal cord injury in adults. New oligodendrocytes do not originate from existing oligodendrocytes (which are post-mitotic) but instead derive from OPCs found throughout the adult CNS. Thus, OPCs that survive a spinal cord injury provide a population of cells that could be induced to form new oligodendrocytes. Studies are aimed at determining the response of these cells to CNS trauma and the effectiveness of applying specific growth factors or other agents that may improve OPC survival, proliferation and/or differentiation. The long-term goal of these studies is to determine if myelination of injured CNS tissue can be improved and if this results in improved functional outcomes. 3) In vitro analysis of cells isolated from injured spinal cords. In these studies, OPCs are isolated at different times after spinal cord injury and their responsiveness to different growth factor combinations is examined. These studies will determine how OPCs are affected by exposure to trauma and can serve as an important screening mechanism tp evaluate which growth factors hold the most promise for different stages of spinal cord injury, e.g., acute versus chronic times post-injury.

Areas of Expertise
  • Neurotrauma, Neurological Disorders, and Gene Therapy
  • PhD: The Ohio State University
  • Postdoctoral Training: The Ohio State University

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