Professor Robin Franklin
Adult neural stem cells and CNS regeneration
Laboratory: Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Clifford Allbutt Building, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Departmental Affiliation: Clinical Neurosciences; Cambridge Neurosciences
Robin Franklin is Professor of Stem Cell Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degrees in Physiology and Veterinary Medicine and his PhD in Neuroscience. He has worked predominantly on the biology of myelin regeneration (remyelination) and investigating strategies by which this important regenerative process may be enhanced therapeutically. He is at the forefront of studying the cellular mechanisms of remyelination, providing insights into how adult stem cells are recruited to areas of demyelination and the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that regulate their differentiation into remyelinating oligodendrocytes and other glial cell types. He is also Director of the UK MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair, a consortium of Cambridge-based scientists and clinicians working towards stem-cell-based therapies for myelin regeneration. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
MS Society, Wellcome, MRC, Action Medical Research, BBSRC, British Trust for the Myelin Project, GSK, Rosetrees Trust
Progenitors and oligodendrocytes (green) associating with and myelinating axons (red) in the rodent cerebellum (Credit: Dr Dan Ma)
The Franklin lab studies the mechanisms of Central Nervous System (CNS) regeneration with a particular focus on remyelination, a regenerative process mediated by adult stem cells in which new myelin sheaths are restored to demyelinated axons. Using a wide range of experimental approaches, we are examining extrinsic (environmental) and intrinsic (transcriptional/epigenetic) factors that govern the responses of adult neural stem/precursor cells to injury and their differentiation into oligodendrocytes and other glia following CNS injury. The potential medical benefits of this research are to stop nerve cell degeneration and therefore provide a treatment for the currently untreatable secondary progressive phase of multiple sclerosis.
Roey Baror, Natalia Deja, Ludovica Di Canio, Oihana Errea, Sarah Foerster, Tanay Ghosh, Ginez Gonzalez, Joseph Guy, Alerie Guzman de la Fuente, Ilias Kazanis, Dan Ma, Freya McClenahan, Chris McMurran, Alisa Molotova, Daniel Morrison, Bjoern Neumann, Catherine Peacock, Michal Presz, Michael Segel, Chao Zhao.
In our lab we study how stem cells in the adult brain respond to damage or disease and are able to replace lost cells. Our particular interest is in the regeneration of oligodendrocytes, the cells that make the insulating coating (myelin) around fibres on which their function and survival depends.
- Crawford AH, Tripathi RB, Richardson WD, Franklin RJM (2016) The developmental origin of oligodendrocyte lineage cells determines response to demyelination and susceptibility to age-associated functional decline. Cell Reports 15(4): 761-773. PMC4850420
- Guzman de la Fuente A, Errea A, van WijngaardenP, Gonzalez GA, Kerninon C, Jarjour AA, Lewis HJ, Jones CA, Nait-Oumesmar B, Zhao C, Huang JK, ffrench-Constant C, Franklin RJM (2015) Vitamin D receptor - retinoid X receptor heterodimer signaling regulates oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation. Journal of Cell Biology 211: 975-985. PMCID:PMC4674280
- Zhao C, Ma D, Zawadzka M, Fancy SPJ, Elis-Williams L, Bouvier G, Stockley JH, Monteiro de Castro G, Wang B, Jacobs S, Casaccia P, Franklin RJM (2015) Sox2 sustains recruitment of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells following CNS demyelination and primes them for differentiation during CNS remyelination. Journal of Neuroscience 35: 11482-11499. PMID:26290228
- Ruckh JM, Zhao JW, ShadrachJL, van WijngaardenP, Rao TN, WagersAJ, Franklin RJM (2012) Rejuvenation of regeneration in the aging central nervous system. Cell Stem Cell 10: 96-103. PMCID:PMC3714794
- Huang JK, Jarjour AA, Nait Oumesmar B, Kerninon C, Williams A, Krezel W, Kagechika H, Bauer J, Zhao C, Baron van Evercooren A, Chambon P, ffrench-Constant C, Franklin RJM (2011) Retinoid X receptor gamma signaling accelerates CNS remyelination. Nature Neuroscience 14: 45-53. PMCID:PMC4013508
- Zawadzka M, Rivers LE, Fancy SPJ, Zhao C, Tripathi R, Jamen F, Young K, Goncharevich A, Pohl H, Rizzi M, Rowitch DH, Kessaris N, Suter U, Richardosn WD, Franklin RJM (2010) CNS-resident glial progenitor/stem cells prodcude Schwann cells as well as oligodendrocytes during repair of CNS demyelination. Cell Stem Cell 6: 578-590. PMCID:PMC3856868