Laboratory head - Spinal Research Laboratory
Dr Stephen Davies

Dr. Stephen Davies is an internationally recognized neuroscientist who has devoted his scientific career to gaining a better understanding of why axon regeneration fails in the central nervous system, and the development of new technologies for repairing the injured or diseased brain and spinal cord. Doctoral thesis in neurobiology studying axon growth in the adult brain with Geoffrey Raisman at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London. PhD awarded by University College London in 1996. Postdoctoral Fellow: Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. 1997 to 2000.

Whilst in Cleveland Dr. Davies initiated a series of adult neuron to adult brain and spinal cord transplantation experiments that focused the scientific community on the role of scar associated inhibitory molecules in preventing axon regeneration after injury to the adult brain and spinal cord.

He was recruited as an assistant professor to Baylor College of Medicine, Texas in 2000, and later in 2007 to the University of Colorado, Denver as an Associate Professor with appointments in Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neurosciences. During his tenures in Texas and Colorado, Dr. Davies focused on the development of two complementary approaches to repairing the injured adult central nervous system.

The first was a novel stem cell-based technology for generating specific functionally distinct sub-types of subtypes of astrocytes from multi-potent glial restricted precursor cells suitable for repairing the injured adult brain and spinal cord. The second was to investigate the use of a naturally occurring small leucine rich proteoglycan called Decorin as a means of regulating scar formation and promoting regeneration and plasticity of neural circuits within the growth inhibitory environment of the injured adult brain and spinal cord.

Dr. Davies was awarded the American Spinal Injury Association prize for breakthrough in spinal cord injury research for his studies with Decorin. In 2014 Dr. Davies was recruited to the Florey where he is continuing the development of Decorin and stem cell-derived human astrocytes for use in treating a variety of neurological disorders with a particular focus on chronic spinal cord injury.

His research has been highlighted in numerous international news media articles and programs ranging from Discover Magazine to The Hindu newspaper. More recently his studies of stem cell-derived astrocytes were featured in a book “Physics of the Future” by Michio Kaku as a technology that will have a significant impact on human civilization over the next century.

  • Location

    Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
    30 Royal Parade

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