We are expanding upon our discovery that extracellular non-adenine based purines stimulate cell differentiation, regeneration and prevent cell death; identifying receptors and signalling cascades and applying these to medically-relevant systems, including brain and spinal injury, wound healing and neuroprotection. We also study the interactions of non-adenine based purines and protein cell growth factors.
In related studies, we have discovered that glia from the enteric nervous system enhance regeneration of damaged axons through the central nervous system. We are studying the mechanisms involved and attempting to further facilitate functional regeneration after spinal cord injury.
A wide spectrum of techniques including biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, in vivo studies, cell culture, histology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Collaboration with several groups in Canada, North and South America, Europe and Asia, increases the breadth of approaches used.