|Brain Physics Lab||Neurochemistry Lab
|Brain Oncology Lab||Brain Imaging Group
|Trials Unit||ICM+ Software
|Neuroinflammation in Acute Brain Injury Group||Stem Cells and Spinal Cord Injury
About the Department
There are seven research groups, spanning much of experimental and clinical neuroscience. This makes for a vibrant and multidisciplinary research training environment. Many research students have projects that span two or more of the divisions of the Department. The research groups are:
Brain Physics Lab (BRL). Brain Physics summarizes physical interactions between volumes, flows and pressures in brain. Cambridge Brain Physics Lab is made up by researchers, students of University of Cambridge. Our research mainly focused on measurement, data processing and analysis, forecasting and modeling of various cerebral phenomena as autoregulation of CBF or pressure-volume compensation of CSF indicate first-line priorities of Brain Physics. For more information, click here.
Brain Chemistry Lab (BCL). Brain injury is a major cause of disability and death. While some brain injury survivors have good outcomes, others experience varying degrees of disability, which are often life-long, with consequent demands on carers and resources. After the initial event, a complex series of biochemical and biological changes occurs in the hours and days that follow. Brain chemistry is monitored in severely injured patients by means of inserting fine semi-permeable tubes into the brain, a technique called microdialysis. The fluid collected by microdialysis is analysed in various ways. This can reveal information on energy status, metabolism and inflammation in the injured brain. Microdialysis is used routinely to monitor brain injury patients being treated in the Neuro Critical Care Unit, and to support clinical trials investigating new drug treatments or surgical procedures. For more information, click here.
Brain Oncology Group (BOG). The group is focusing on human brain tumours. The studies aim at documenting the genetic abnormalities involved in the development of these tumours and how these affect cell function. We wish to identify prognostic markers, therapy response markers and to identify targets for innovative molecular therapies. Methodologies include microarray Comparative Genomic Hybridization (array–CGH), mutation and methylation analysis of the genome. The transcriptosome of brain tumours is presently being documented. The genes found to be abberant are then analysed in a cell biological framework. In all cases the data can be correlated with clinical findings. Currently a number of potential tumour suppressor genes and potential oncogenes in regions consistently amplified or rearranged are being investigated. For more information, click here.
Cambridge Brain Tumour Imaging Laboratory. Our group uses advanced multimodal MR and PET imaging to understand the heterogeneity of gliomas (high and low grade) in individual patients. We know that gliomas are among the most heterogeneous tumours but still do not have a method of detecting this heterogeneity. Tissue markers cannot impact surgically based therapies. Imaging provides a non-invasive method of assessing tumour pathology. For more information, click here.
Neuroinflammation in Acute Brain Injury Group (NABIG). The neuroinflammation group have an interest in central nervous system inflammation following acute brain injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH). Innate inflammation comprises of a complex sequence of cellular and humoral responses following any neurological insult. These responses can be protective leading to clearance of cellular debris and promoting a reparative environment, but they can also exacerbate neuronal injury. We are a clinically focussed group that aims to determine how neuroinflammatory resposne can be modulated as a therapeutic target. For more information, click here.
Neurosurgical Trials and Outcomes Research (NTOR) Group. The NTOR group focuses on research that aims to improve the conduct of multi-centre randomised trials and other prospective studies. Current projects include the RESCUE-ASDH trial, Dex-CSDH trial, and NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma. Completed projects include the RESCUEicp trial, Cambridge CSDH drain trial, and STASH trial.
Stem Cells and Spinal Cord Injury. The Stem Cells and Spinal Cord Injury group’s ambition is to translate basic biological concepts and applied clinical research into practice. A particular interest is Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM), a common form of spinal cord injury. Our research aims to understand WHY DCM occurs, WHO is likely to be affected, WHAT needs to change in order to optimise clinical treatment, and HOW to improve recovery. E.g. studying stem cells of the CNS, we found that pharmacological inhibition of PDE4 promotes the repair of myelin sheaths. This has led to RECEDE Myelopathy, the first regenerative medicine trial for cervical myelopathy. We have developed a cell reprogramming system, which has overcome common obstacles of stem cell differentiation and allows for rapid and efficient generation of human cells. This serves as a platform for generating cells for research, drug discovery, and cell therapy.