Turnley Laboratory: Neural Regeneration

Research Overview

One of the reasons why injury or disease of the brain and spinal cord results in permanent disability is because nerve cells (neurons) die and those that remain can rarely reform the correct wiring of the nervous system to restore function. Effective neural repair is likely to require a multi-factorial approach, including blockage of neuronal death, replacement of lost neurons by differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells and regulation of appropriate subsequent neurite outgrowth and formation of correct synaptic connections. We are particularly interested in understanding what signal transduction pathways are involved in regulating neural differentiation, neurite outgrowth and axonal regeneration so that we can target these pathways to promote neural repair.

We use a range of techniques, including primary neural cell culture, transgenic and knockout mouse models and injury and disease models such as adult and infant traumatic brain injury, as well as the normal developing and adult mouse brain, to unravel the roles of some of these regulators. This has included the role of inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines and chemokines and regulation of their signal transduction pathways by members of the Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling (SOCS) family, and in particular SOCS2.


Dr. Nicole Bye, Postdoc
Ms Akram Zamani, PhD Student

Research Publications

  • Van Hoecke, A, Schoonaert L, Lemmens R, Timmers M, Staats KA, Laird AS, Peeters E, Philips T, Goris A, Dubois B, Thijs V, Turnley AM, van Vught PW, Veldink JH, Van Den Bosch L, Gonzalez-Perez P, Van Damme P, Brown Jr, RH, van den Berg LH,  Robberecht W.  EPHA4 is a disease modifier of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in animal models and in humans. Nature Medicine 2012; 18: 1418-22
  • Dixon KM, Munro KM, Boyd AW, Bartlett PF, Turnley AM.  Partial Change in EphA4 knockout mouse phenotype: loss of diminished GFAP upregulation following spinal cord injury. Neuroscience Letters 2012; 525: 66– 71.
  • Turnley AM. Editorial note in Cell Migration in the Developing and Adult Nervous System. Neurosignals 2012; 20: 131.
  • Bye N, Turnley AM, Morganti-Kossmann MC.  Inflammatory regulators of redirected neural migration in the injured brain. Neurosignals 2012;20: 132-146.
  • Munro KM, Dixon KJ, Gresle M, Jonas A, Kemper D, Doherty W, Fabri LJ, Owczarek CM, Pearse M, Boyd AW, Kilpatrick TJ, Butzkueven H, Turnley AM.  EphA4 receptor tyrosine kinase is a modulator of onset and disease severity of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). PLoS One 2013;8(2): e55948.
  • Basrai HS, Christie KJ, Turnley AM.  Regulation of Basal and Injury-induced Fate Decisions of Adult Neural Precursor Cells: Focus on SOCS2 and Related Signalling Pathways, Trends in Cell Signaling Pathways in Neuronal Fate Decision, Dr Sabine Wislet-Gendebien (Ed.), 2013. ISBN: 978-953-51-1059-0, InTech,
  • Spanevello MD, Tajouri SI, Mirciov C, Kurniawan N, Pearse MJ, Fabri LF, Owczarek CM, Hardy MP, Bradford, RA, Ramunno, ML, Turnley AM, Ruitenberg MJ,  Boyd AW,  Bartlett, PF.  Acute delivery of EphA4-Fc augments functional recovery after contusive spinal cord injury in rats. J. Neurotrauma 2013; 30: 1023-1034.
  • Christie KJ, Turnley AM.  Regulation of endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells for neural repair - factors that promote neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the normal and damaged brain. Front Cell. Neurosci 2013;6: 70. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2012.00070
  • Christie KJ, Emery B, Denham M, Bujalka H, Cate HS, Turnley AM. Transcriptional Regulation and Specification of Neural Stem Cells. Adv Exp Med Biol 2013;786: 129-55.
  • Christie KJ, Turbic A, Turnley AM.  Adult hippocampal neurogenesis, Rho kinase inhibition and enhancement of neuronal survival. Neuroscience 2013; 247: 75-83.
  • Merson TD, ¬Castelletto S, Aharonovich I, Turbic A, Kilpatrick TJ, Turnley AM.  Nanodiamonds with silicon vacancy defects for non-toxic photostable fluorescent labeling of neural precursor cells. Optics Letters 2013;38: 4170-4173.
  • Ganesan K, Garrett D, Ahnood A, Shivdasani MN, Tong W, Turnley AM, Fox K, Meffin H, Prawer S.  An all-diamond, hermetic electrical feedthrough array for a retinal prosthesis. Biomaterials 2014; 35:908-915.
  • Uren RT, Turbic A, Wong AW, Klein R, Murray SS, Turnley AM. A novel role of Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling-2 (SOCS2) in the regulation of TrkA neurotrophin receptor biology. J Neurochem 2014;129: 614-627 doi: 10.1111/jnc.12671.
  • Tong W, Fox K, Ganesan K, Turnley AM, Shimoni O, Tran, PA, Lohrmann A, McFarlane T, Ahnood A, Garrett D, Meffin H, O’Brien-Simpson N, Prawer S.  Fabrication of planarised conductively patterned diamond for bio-applications. Materials Science and Engineering C 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2014.07.016.
  • Turnley AM, Basrai HS, Christie KJ.  Is integration and survival of newborn neurons the bottleneck for effective neural repair by endogenous neural precursor cells? Front. Neurosci 2014;8: 29  doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00029.
  • Uren RT, Turnley AM.  Regulation of neurotrophin receptor (Trk) signaling: suppressor of cytokine signaling 2 (SOCS2) is a new player. Front Mol Neurosci 2014;7:39 doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2014.00039.
  • Ratnayake U, Basrai HS, Turnley AM, van den Buuse M.  Dopaminergic activity and behaviour in SOCS2 transgenic mice: Revealing a potential drug target for schizophrenia. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2015;56: 247-253.
  • Tolcos M, Markwick R, O’Dowd R, Martin V, Turnley AM, Rees S.  Intrauterine growth restriction: effects on neural precursor cell proliferation and angiogenesis in the foetal subventricular zone. Dev Neurosci 2015;37(4-5): 453-63.
  • Dent KA, Christie KJ, Bye N, Basrai HS, Turbic A, Habgood M, Cate HS, Turnley AM. Oligodendrocyte birth and death following traumatic brain injury in adult mice. PLoS One 2015;10(3): e0121541. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121541.
  • Aramesh M, Tong W, Fox K, Turnley A, Seo DH, Prawer S, Ostrikov K.  Nanocarbon-coated porous anodic alumina for bionic devices. Materials 2015;8: 4992-5006; doi:10.3390/ma8084992

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience, Cell Signalling, Stem Cells

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact A/Prof Ann Turnley

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience