About the Department
There are four components, spanning much of experimental and clinical neuroscience. This makes for a vibrant and multidisciplinary research training environment. Many research students have projects that span two or more of the divisions of the Department. The four components are:
John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair (BRC). The BRC focusses on understanding how diseases damaged the nervous system, and on developing methods to repairing this damage. Research spans basic biology through to clinical studies. Areas of research include the biology of neurons and glia, the process of myelination, the use of stem cells to repair the brain, axon regeneration, plasticity in the brain, mechanisms of neurodegeneration and inflammation. The techniques are multi-disciplinary, and include molecular and cell biology, electrophysiology, both tissue culture and in vivo work, behavioural studies, clinical studies. Research clinics in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease are also held in the BRC, emphasising its translational approach. Target diseases are Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma. For more information, click here.
Neurology. This in one of the major neurology centres in the UK. It has particular interests in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimers, stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS). It combines experimental and clinical research. Many of its clinicians thus spend time in both environments, and there is a seamless connection between them and the BRC. Its many techniques include genetic studies, drugs trials, patient management techniques, new approaches to therapy in MS and stroke, as well as many associated experimental projects on cell and molecular biology. For more information, click here.
Neurosurgery. One of the most prominent academic departments of neurosurgery in the UK. It has major interests in acute head injury (together with Department of Anaesthesiology), glioma biology and treatment, developing new methods of bedside patient monitoring, the dynamics of the blood-brain barrier, brain haemorrhage and novel methods of imaging the damaged brain. There are close interactions with both the BRC and the Department of Neurology. As with that Department, the members of Neurosurgery have both clinical and experimental projects, and collaborate extensively with those in the other components of Clinical Neurosciences. For more information, click here.
Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (WBIC). Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre (WBIC). This is housed in a £11.5 million building on the site of the renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital, close to the BRC, Neurology and Neurosurgery. It has major interests in developing new imaging methods, based both on new hardware and on computational techniques. As well as a GE PET camera, the imaging facilities comprise two 3T Siemens MRI systems. The first was a TIM Trio system, installed in 2006. More recently the Centre has acquired a 3T Verio system. The Centre is also a major programme in developing and synthesising ligands for PET. Its members also collaborate extensively with other components of the Department, and with those in Chemistry, Metabolic Medicine, Anaesthesiology, Psychology, Psychiatry etc. For more information, click here.
Division of Stem Cell Neurobiology. The Division of Stem Cell Neurobiology includes scientists and clinician scientists whose primary research interest is in the fundamental and translational biology of the stem and progenitor cells of the nervous system in health and disease
Prof Robin Franklin; stem cell web link: https://www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/research/pis/franklin
Dr Stefano Pluchino; stem cell web link: https://www.stemcells.cam.ac.uk/research/pis/pluchino