Robin profile pic

Professor Robin Franklin

Adult neural stem cells and CNS regeneration


Laboratory Location:

Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Clifford Allbutt Building, Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Departmental Affiliation:

Department of 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 and molecular mechanisms of remyelination and describing the mechanisms by which adult stem cells are recruited to areas of demyelination and the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that regulate their differentiation into remyelinating oligodendrocytes. 

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. Robin is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


MS Society, Wellcome Trust, Action Medical Research, MedImmune, BBSRC, British Trust for the Myelin Project

External links


Franklin research image 2-1ratio
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/precursor cell, 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.

Franklin group 2-1ratio

Roey Baror

Natalia Deja

Ludovica Di Canio

Oihana Errea

Sarah Foerster

Ginez Gonzalez

Joseph Guy

Alerie Guzman de la Fuente

Myfanwy Hill

Ilias Kazanis

Dan Ma

Freya McClenahan

Chris McMurran

Daniel Morrison

Bjoern Neumann

John Parker

Michael Segel

Chao Zhao

Plain English

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.

Key Publications

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