Glial Research Team: Young Group

Glia are a category of brain cell that include brain stem cells, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia.  Our research team studies each type of glia and aims to understand the processes that regulate cell generation and regeneration in the mature brain.

We are particularly interested in the ability of immature brain cells, such as OPCs, to make new cells in the brain to repair the damage caused by neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, and mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression.  OPCs produce large numbers of new brains cells called oligodendrocytes, which wrap up and insulate the electrically active nerve cells, allowing them to carry information, in the form of electrical impulses, rapidly between brain regions. Oligodendrocytes are lost due to multiple sclerosis and while we have shown that OPCs can produce new oligodendrocytes throughout life, they do not do this well enough alone to fully repair brain lesions.  Our research aims to improve the ability of OPCs to make new oligodendrocytes to repair brain lesions.  As the addition of new myelin to the healthy, mature nervous system has the potential to fine-tune the speed of information transfer or even change the activity of a neural circuit, we are also interested in answering questions about how these plastic changes can occur and why they are normally needed for brain function.

A number of research projects are available for students who wish to pursue an Honours or PhD degree within the laboratory. Please contact Associate Professor Kaylene Young ( for more information about the projects or to express your interest in undertaking glial research.

Parent Theme

Research Projects

Related Funding Bodies


Team Leaders

  • Associate Professor Kaylene Young

Team Members

  • Dr Carlie Cullen (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Dr Kimberley Pitman (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Dr Shannon Beasley (Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Mr Mackenzie Clutterbuck (Research Assistant)

Local Collaborators

  • Professor Tracey Dickson
  • Profession Lisa Foa
  • Dr Owen Marshall
  • Dr Jac Charlesworth
  • Professor Kathryn Burdon
  • Professor Bruce Taylor
  • Professor Heinrich Korner
  • Dr Brad Sutherland
  • Dr Mark Hinder

External Collaborators

  • Assistant Professor Ben Emery (Oregon Health and Science University)
  • 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 Yilan Zhen
  • Ms Solene Ferreira
  • Mr Loic Auderset
  • Ms Renee Pepper
  • Mr Raphael Ricci
  • Mr Benjamin Summers
  • Mr Mahadi Shahed

Honours Students

  • Ms Aleisha Herington
  • Mr Lewis Johnson

Related Publications

    Pepper, RE and Pitman, KA and Cullen, CL and Young, KM, “How do cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage affect neuronal circuits to influence motor function, memory and mood?”, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 12 Article 399. doi:10.3389/fncel.2018.00399 ISSN 1662-5102 (2018) [Refereed Article]

    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