Innovative Program for Repair and Remyelination
A scanning electron micrograph of a single oligodendrocyte beginning to myelinate a micropillar in a high throughput screening assey (BIMA). This assay is used to identify drugs that may promote repair and remyelination in multiple sclerosis. Funding from The Salah Foundation has allowed us to continue this important research.
Why are we studying remyelination?
Damage to myelin from multiple sclerosis (MS) results in the disruption of the nerve signals that are essential for communicating messages through the brain and spinal cord. This is accompanied by damage to the axon, and finally degeneration, ultimately leading to chronic disability, in order to effectively treat this devastating condition, it is essential that we develop innovative technologies and medications to promote repair. To date, there are no effective therapies for repair or remyelination which remains one of the greatest unmet needs for people living with MS. Functional screening for other small molecules or medicines that promote remyelination represents a major hurdle in the identification and development of breakthrough treatments for demyelinating diseases. Therefore, it is imperative to continue to make technical advances in the development of high-throughput screening platforms that will provide insights to the mechanisms for remyelination.
Confocal microscopic image of human oligodendrocytes making myelin proteins. These cells are derived from embryonic stem cell lines and differentiated in culture. This process validates drugs that may be effective for remyelination.
Provided by Dr. Feng Mei and Jonah Chan
Development of a high throughput assay for drug screening which was the first method for identifying drugs functionally capable of remyelination
Mei et al., 2014
Demonstration of drugs that promote remyelination in preclinical models – indicating that remyelination may prevent axon degeneration
Mei et al., 2014, 2016a, 2016b
First successful clinical trial (ReBuild) for remyelination after chronic optic neuropathy
Green et al., 2017
Development of preclinical models that may be predictive for human clinical trials
The UCSF MS and Neuroinflammation Center cares for over 7000 patients from across the United States and around the world. We have been leaders in major clinical trials that have led to the development of the first drugs capable of treating progressive multiple sclerosis. We continue to work on new trials to help pus the boundaries and advance new treatments.
Who We Are
The Innovative Program for Repair and Remyelination consists of the laboratories of:
Ari Green, MD (Co-Director)
Jonah Chan, PhD (Co-Director)
Stephen Fancy, PhD
Riley Bove, MD
We are a committed group of scientists and clinicians that are passionate about contributing greatly to MS patients. It is our collaborative spirit and innovative approach that place us in a unique position to carry forward our vision for repair and remyelination. It is our hope to restore lost function and protect axons from degeneration – improving the quality of life for all MS patients.