Murray & Xiao laboratory: Neurotrophin and myelin
Dr Simon Murray & Dr Junhua Xiao
+61 3 8344 5813, +61 3 9035 9759 (JX)
Myelin is the insulating sheath wrapping around many axons in the peripheral (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS). It is essential for the rapid and efficient transmission of neural signals along the axons, and provides metabolic and trophic support to the axons that it surrounds. Human demyelinating diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), have a devastating impact on quality of life. It is the failure of the nervous system to repair myelin after a demyelinating insult that leads to disease progression and increasing disability. In addition, myelin damage is a common pathological feature of many neurodegenerateive diseases. However, there is currently an incomplete understanding of the molecular and cellular events that initiate, promote and maintain the interactions between neurons and glial cells that are vital for myelination in both the PNS and CNS.
Our laboratory is particularly interested in understanding the molecular cues that are vital for myelination during development, and myelin repair after injury as well as developing new therapeutics for promoting repair after myelin injury. We use a variety of molecular, cellular, biochemical, genetic and confocal imaging techniques in combination with behavioural analyses and animal models of demyelinating disease to investigate these events.
Dr Junhua Xiao, Head of Laboratory
Dr Simon Murray, Head of Laboratory
Dr David Gonsalvez, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Jessica Fletcher, Postdoctoral Fellow
Rhiannon Wood, Research Assistant
Ophelia Ehrlich, Research Assistant
Fatemeh Daemi, PhD student
Madeline Nicolson, PhD student
Sangwon Yoo, PhD student
Georgina Craig, PhD student
Zuoheng (Jack)Qin, Masters student
Ryan O'Rafferty, MD research student
David Homewood, MD research student
2018-2021 ARC Discovery Project Grant. How neurons regulate the myelinating process
2018-2021 US Department of Defense Investigator-Initiated Research Award. Developing a Novel Neurotrophin-Based Strategy to Promote Myelin Repair in Multiple Sclerosis
2019-2020 MS Research Australia Project Grant. Promoting myelin repair in a refractory environment in vivo
2019-2021 MS Research Australia Project Grant. How neurons regulate cortical and subcortical remyelination?
2016-2018 NHMRC Project Grant. Novel strategies to promote myelin repair in the brain
2014-2017 NHMRC Project Grant. Developing a new strategy for treating peripheral demyelinating neuropathy
This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
"Mimicking a cure", Australian Life Scientist, 14 August 2013
“Kiss Goodbye to Multiple Sclerosis” - to support “World MS Day”. The Age, edited by Ms. Kate Hagan, 26 May 2010
- Can drug-like mimetics of BDNF promote remyelination after injury?
- Investigating the molecular basis of central myelination and repair
- How early life experience influences brain myelination and function late in life?
- Principles of Peripheral Nerve Myelination
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Joint Heads of Laboratory Dr Simon Murray & Dr Junhua Xiao
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