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Dr Stefano Pluchino

107-Pluchino-2017Dr Stefano Pluchino

Stem cell signalling and brain repair

Email: spp24@cam.ac.uk 

Laboratory: Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Clifford Allbutt Building, Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Departmental Affiliation: Clinical Neurosciences

 

Biography

Stefano Pluchino received his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Siena, Italy, and additional training at Cambridge University, UK.

He is University Reader in Regenerative Neuroimmunology (2016) and Honorary Consultant in Neurology. He’s also non-tenured Professor of Regenerative Neuroscience at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milano (Italy; since 2005) and adjunct Associate Professor in Neurology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington (USA; since 2008).

Stefano Pluchino has been awarded the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM) Rita Levi-Montalcini prize for outstanding research in MS (2007) and the International Royan Award for outstanding research in Stem Cell Biology and Technology (2010). Dr Pluchino is a 2009 Italian Ministry of Health Young Investigator Awardee and 2010 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher and member of the Division of Stem Cell Neurobiology, within the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. 

The major contribution of Stefano Pluchino’s studies has been the demonstration of the [constitutive vs inducible] immune modulatory functions of somatic neural stem cells (NSCs). His major recent focus has been the exploitation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the therapeutic plasticity of NSCs in inflammatory CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke, and spinal cord injury. Current projects in his lab are exploring the different modalities by which transplanted NSCs engage programs of cell-to-cell communication with cells in the host microenvironment.

Funding

John and Lucille Van Geest Endowment, CDMRP MS Research Program, Italian MS Society (FISM), International Progressive MS Alliance, Wellcome Trust, European Commission, The Evelyn Trust, The Bascule Charitable Trust, The Great Britain Sakakawa Foundation, UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP), Montreal Neurological Institute-University of Cambridge Fund, Wings for Life.  

External links

www.pluchinolab.org

 

Transplanted iNSCs (green) migrate in the injured CNS accumulating close to reactive GFAP+ astrocytes (white), while differentiate into NeuN+ (red) neurons with fully formed spines. Nuclei are stained with DAPI (blue). (Credit Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti and Giulio Volpe)

 

Research

The major contribution of Stefano Pluchino’s studies has been the demonstration of the [constitutive vs inducible] immune modulatory functions of neural stem cells (NSCs). Current projects in his lab are exploring the different modalities by which transplanted NSCs engage programs of cell-to-cell communication with cells in the host microenvironment.

His group’s main research efforts are now towards some key challenges that include:

1. The development of protocols for safe human stem cells under standardised conditions;

2. The identification of the cell injection, cell dosage and cell type/stage;

3. The identification of mechanisms of stem cell integration and signalling in vivo; and

4. The discovery of new biomakers of stem cell survival, biodistribution and function.

The Pluchino lab is fully committed to delivering next-generation stem cell therapies into clinics for the treatment of highly invalidating neurological disorders that include multiple sclerosis, stroke and traumatic injuries of the brain/spinal cord.

 

Pluchino Group 2017

 

Group Members

Jayden A. Smith, Beatrice Balzarotti, Sara Bandiera, Alice Braga (Visiting PhD Student), Joshua Bernstock, Florian Gessler, Nunzio Iraci, Tommaso Leonardi, Giulia Manferrari, Dai Matsuse, Emanuele Mauri, Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti, Rebecca Rogal, Jeroen Verheyen, Giulio Volpe

 

 

Plain English

In our lab we study how various types of stem cells and other advanced molecular therapies are able to help the damaged or diseased brain heal or even regenerate. In particular, we are clarifying the molecular mechanisms that transplanted stem cells use to interact with their surrounding tissue, the so-called microenvironment. Such mechanisms may be harnessed and used to modulate disease states in an effort to repair and/or regenerate critical components of the nervous system.

 

Key Publications