Chairman, Cambridge Centre for Brian Repair (CBR), University of Cambridge
Professor James Fawcett’s research interests include axon regeneration in the damaged CNS. He works in the inhibition of axon growth by inhibitory proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix. In addition work on how to increase the intrinsic regenerative potential of axons, using integrin engineering and local protein translation.
Another area of his research is the plasticity in the Central Nervous System (CNS): Plasticity is turned off in adults by extracellular matrix structures called perineuronal nets. To explore this Professor Fawcett’s group works on the actions of these structures, and methods to moduate their function so as to improve functional recovery and memory in the adult CNS. As well as developing a microchannel interface prosthesis which allows permanent extracellular recording from regenerated axons, to investigate Interfacing the nervous system with electronics.
His research also covers plasticity in the damaged CNS, the role of the extracellular matrix and proteoglycans in plasticity and axon damage, glia in the CNS injury response, integrins in axon regeneration, local translation of proteins in axon growth and regeneration and remyelination.