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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


128-Franklin 2017Professor Robin Franklin

Adult neural stem cells and CNS regeneration


Laboratory: Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre

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 is at the forefront of studying the mechanisms of myelin regeneration (remyelination), providing insights into how adult stem cells differentiate into oligodendrocytes and other glial cell types, and how this process is altered by ageing. He was formerly 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 and won the 2017 Barancik Prize for Research Innovation and the 2021 King Faisal Prize for Medicine.



MS Society, Wellcome, MRC, AMRF, BIRAX, Biogen, DDF


Franklin research 2018

CNS progenitor cells isolated from the aged adult rodent brain (Credit: Dr Bjoern Neumann)



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 regenerative responses of adult CNS stem cells to injury and how this altered by ageing. 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 2020

Group Members

Juan Cubillos, Penelope Dimas, Tanay Ghosh, Ginez Gonzalez, Myfanwy Hill, Peggy Assinck, Bjoern Neumann, Feride Oeztuerk-Winder, Khalil Rawji, Amar Sharma, Adam Young, Civia Chen, Chao Zhao           


Interview for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society can be read here



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