Glial Research Team: Young Group

Glia is a broad category of cells that includes neural stem cells, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. Our research team studies each of these cell types, as we aim to understand the processes that regulate cell generation and regeneration in the adult central nervous system (CNS).

We are particularly interested in the potential of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) for the treatment of demyelinating disorders e.g. multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders e.g. Alzheimer's disease, and mental health disorders e.g. schizophrenia. OPCs are an immature cell type that produces large numbers of cells known as oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocytes are essential for normal nervous system function as they myelinate (insulate) neurons, allowing them to carry information (in the form of electrical impulses) rapidly between brain regions. We have shown that OPCs produce new oligodendrocytes throughout life. The addition of new myelin to the mature nervous system has the potential to fine-tune the speed of information transfer or even change the activity of a neural circuit. As a result this discovery has produced a fundamental shift in our understanding of the process of myelination, and raises many questions surrounding the plastic changes that occur within the mature brain. Our lab aims to understand the processes regulating OPC behaviour, oligodendrocyte generation and myelination in the adult central nervous system.

A number of research projects are available for students who wish to pursue an Honours or PhD degree within the laboratory. Please contact Dr Kaylene Young for more information.

Parent Theme

Research Projects

Related Funding Bodies


Team Leaders

  • Dr Kaylene Young

Team Members

  • Dr Carlie Cullen (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Dr Kimberley Pitman (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Dr Matteo Senesi (Postdoctoral Researcher)

Local Collaborators

  • Associate Professor Tracey Dickson
  • Associate Profession Lisa Foa
  • Dr Owen Marshall
  • Professor David Howells
  • Dr Jac Charlesworth
  • Associate Professor Kathryn Burdon
  • Professor Bruce Taylor
  • Professor Heinrich Korner

External Collaborators

  • Associate Professor Ben Emery (Oregon Health and Science University)
  • Associate Professor Tobias Merson (Monash University)
  • Associate Professor James Bourne (Monash University)
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Rodger, University of Western Australia
  • Professor Renaud Jolivet (University of Geneva / CERN)
  • Professor Alain Chedotal (Institut de la vision)
  • Dr Gaetan Burgio (ANU)
  • Associate Professor Tanja Kuhlmann (Universitatsklinikum Munster)

Doctoral Students

  • Ms Megan O’Rourke
  • Ms Yilan Zhen
  • Ms Solene Ferreira
  • Mr Loic Auderset
  • Ms Renee Pepper
  • Mr Raphael Ricci
  • Mr Mackenzie Clutterbuck

Related Publications

    Young, KM and Psachoulia, K* and Tripathi, RB* and Dunn, SJ* and Cossell, L* and Attwell, D* and Tohyama, K* and Richardson, WD*, “Oligodendrocyte dynamics in the healthy adult CNS: evidence for myelin remodeling”, Neuron77 (5) pp. 873-885. ISSN 0896-6273 (2013) [Refereed Article]

    Rivers, LE* and Young, KM and Rizzi, M* and Jamen, F* and Psachoulia, K* and Wade, A* and Kessaris, N* and Richardson, WD*, “PDGFRA/NG2 glia generate myelinating oligodendrocytes and piriform projection neurons in adult mice”, Nature Neuroscience11 (12) pp. 1392-1401. ISSN 1097-6256 (2008) [Refereed Article]

    Cullen, CL and Young, KM, “How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Influence Glial Cells in the Central Nervous System?”, Frontiers in Neural Circuits10 Article 26. ISSN 1662-5110 (2016) [Refereed Article]

    Auderset, L and Cullen, CL and Young, KM, “Low density lipoprotein-receptor related protein 1 is differentially expressed by neuronal and glial populations in the developing and mature mouse central nervous system”, PLoS One11 (6) Article e0155878. ISSN 1932-6203 (2016) [Refereed Article]

    O'Rourke, M and Cullen, CL and Auderset, L and Pitman, KA and Achatz, D and Gasperini, R and Young, KM, “Evaluating Tissue-Specific Recombination in a Pdgfrα-CreERT2 Transgenic Mouse Line”, PLoS One11 (9) Article e0162858. ISSN 1932-6203 (2016)

    Wang, S and Young, KM, “White matter plasticity in adulthood”, Neuroscience: An International Journal pp. 1-13. ISSN 0306-4522 (2013) [Refereed Article]

    Wang, S and Bolos, M and Clark, R and Cullen, CL and Southam, KA and Foa, L and Dickson, TC and Young, KM, “Amyloid β precursor protein regulates neuron survival and maturation in the adult mouse brain”, Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences77 pp. 21-33. ISSN 1044-7431 (2016) [Refereed Article]

* Denotes Menzies Researcher
^ Denotes these authors contributed equally to this work