Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Prof Kristjan Jessen
Anatomy Building, UCL
Gower Street
Tel: 020 7679 3351
Fax: 020 7679 7349
Prof Kristjan Jessen profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor of Cellular & Developmental Biology
  • Cell & Developmental Biology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Research Summary
We are interested in Schwann cells, the glial cells of peripheral nerves. These cells provide signals, which during development are required for neuronal survival, and which are essential for the integrity of peripheral nerves in the adult. They also make myelin-sheaths around axons that are needed for the normal conduction of nerve impulses. In damaged nerves, Schwann cells guide re-growing axons and make nerve repair possible.
Schwann cells show a striking ability to de-differentiate. This happens for instance when nerves are injured and it is phenotypic plasticity that generates an environment that supports axon growth and nerve regeneration. But Schwann cell de-differentiation and de-myelination is also a major problem in the common inherited and acquired peripheral neuropathies.
The work of the laboratory addresses a group of interlocking issues in Schwann cell biology.
(i) Early Schwann cell development and the biology of the Schwann Cell Precursor
(ii) Control of myelination,
(iii) The response of Schwann cells to injury and genetic disease, including the process of de-myelination and control of axon re-growth and nerve repair.

To learn about these events, we study molecular signalling in neural crest cells and between neurones and glia, examine how transcription factors control differentiation programmes and analyse intracellular signalling cascades that regulate survival, proliferation, myelination and demyelination. We use cells from rats, and normal and transgenic and knockout mice, and a variety of molecular, biochemical, cell biological and cell culture techniques.

Keywords: Axon regeneration, Demyelination, Development, Differentiation, Myelin, Regeneration, Remyelination, Repair, Wallerian degeneration

Conditions: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Gliomas, Neuropathy, Neurofibromatosis

Methods: Cell culture, Cell transplantation, Confocal microscopy, Electron Microscopy, fluorescence microscopy techniques, Gene expression profiling - tissue level, Genetic manipulation (including knockout/knockin) , Image analysis, Immunohistochemistry, Neuroanatomical approaches , Transgenic mice, Viral vectors

Academic Background
1979   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1975   Master of Science University College London
1973   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University of Iceland
Some IRIS profile information is sourced from HR data as explained in our FAQ. Please report any queries concerning HR data shown on this page to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk.
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by