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.
- Can we alter oligodendrocyte progenitor cell behaviour to promote brain and spinal cord repair?
- What is the role of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells in Alzheimer's disease pathology?
- Targeting neural stem cells to promote regeneration
Related Funding Bodies
- Dr Kaylene Young
- Dr Carlie Cullen (Postdoctoral Researcher)
- Dr Kimberley Pitman (Postdoctoral Researcher)
- Dr Matteo Senesi (Postdoctoral Researcher)
- Daniela Achatz (Research Assistant)
- Dr John Lin
- Professor David Small
- Associate Professor Lisa Foa
- Associate Professor Tracey Dickson
- Dr Jac Charlesworth
- Dr Nuri Gueven
- Professor Bruce Taylor
- 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
- Solene Ferreira
- Renee Pepper
- Loic Auderset
- Megan O'Rourke
- Yilan Zhen
- ^Clarke L, *^Young KM, Hamilton N, Li H, Richardson WD and Attwell D. Properties and Fate of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells in the Corpus Callosum, Motor Cortex and Piriform Cortex of the Mouse. J Neurosci. 32(24): 8173-8185.
- ^Rivers LE, ^Young KM*, ^Rizzi M, ^Jamen F, Psachoulia K, Wade A, Kessaris N, Richardson WD (2008) PDGFRA/NG2 glia generate myelinating oligodendrocytes and piriform projection neurons in adult mice. Nat Neurosci 11:1392-1401, 2008
- Richardson WD, Young KM*, Tripathi RB, McKenzie I. NG2-glia as Multipotent Neural Stem Cells: Fact or Fantasy? Neuron. 70(4):661-73, 2011.
- Small DH*, Hu Y*, Bolos M*, Dawkins E*, Foa L, Young KM* (2013). β-Amyloid Precursor Protein: Function in Stem Cell Development and Alzheimer's Disease Brain. Neurodegener Dis. 13(2-3):96-8.
- Wang S* and Young KM* (2013). White matter plasticity in adulthood. Neuroscience. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.10.018.
- Young KM*, Psachoulia K, Tripathi RB, Dunn S, Cossell L, Attwell DA, Tohyama K and Richardson WD (2013). Oligodendrocyte dynamics in the healthy adult CNS: evidence for myelin remodelling. Neuron 77: 873-885
* Denotes Menzies Researcher
^ Denotes these authors contributed equally to this work