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)
  • Daniela Achatz (Research Assistant)

Local Collaborators

  • Dr John Lin
  • Professor David Small
  • Associate Professor Lisa Foa
  • Associate Professor Tracey Dickson
  • Dr Jac Charlesworth
  • Dr Nuri Gueven
  • Professor Bruce Taylor

External Collaborators

  • Dr John Bekkers, Australian National University
  • Dr Gaetan Burgio, Australian National University
  • Professor William Richardson, University College, London
  • Dr Ben Emery, Oregon Health & Science University, US
  • Dr Tobias Merson, University of Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Jennifer Rodger, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Renaud Jolivet, CERN, Switzerland
  • Dr Anna Williams, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr Simon McMullan, Macquarie University
  • Dr Lee Cossell, University College, London, UK
  • Professor Alison Lloyd, University College, London, UK

Doctoral Students

  • Solene Ferreira
  • Renee Pepper
  • Loic Auderset
  • Megan O'Rourke
  • Yilan Zhen

Related Publications

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