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My laboratory focuses on a combination of discovery biology and identifying translational neuroscience strategies for spinal cord injury and central nervous system disease. Pre-clinical and translational work from my lab directly supported an IND filing for an FDA approved phase I trial of human neural stem cells for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), and a phase I/II clinical trial for human neural stem cells in thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI). These translational milestones reflect our work on human-derived stem cell populations and spinal cord injury mechanisms. In current studies, we are investigating the intrinsic and extrinsic factors defining the migration and differentiation potential of these cells both in vitro and after in vivo transplantation. In parallel, we are seeking to understand non-traditional roles for the innate inflammatory system in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury and in the mechanisms controlling stem cell fate and migration. A third line of research focuses on implanted biomaterial scaffolds and engineered nanoparticles, which we have shown can provide an environment supporting robust axonal regeneration.