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- Reader in Developmental Neurobiology
- ICH - Developmental Biology Unit
- Dept of Neurosciences & Mental Health
- Faculty of Population Health Sciences
She has identified a number of cellular and molecular mechanisms which play a role in response to injury and repair and established useful models for the study of stem/progenitor cells; these include demonstrating:
• changes in neural progenitors and in the extent of hemorrhage and apoptotic response following spinal cord injury are associated with impaired regenerative ability. Secondary response to injury can be reduced by targeting some of the pathways involved in these responses recently identified in her laboratory.
• endogenous neuroblast migration can be effectively imaged in vivo by MRI using modified contrast agents.
• the human spinal cord contains distinct and dynamic populations of neural precursors which are developmentally regulated and FGF signaling/FGFR1 seems important for maintaining the undifferentiated state in human neurospheres as in the regenerating salamander spinal cord.
• a composite mesh supports homing and differentiation of human craniosynostotic osteoblasts. This is important in view of further developing autologous biohybrids to repair cranial bone deficits in these patients.
Altogether she has made a sustained and internationally recognized contribution to the regeneration field and the book on regeneration she edited (Cellular and Molecular Basis of Regeneration from Invertebrates to Humans; Eds. P. Ferretti and J. Geraudie. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 1998) was very well received and sold out. She has also had a major involvement in editing an electronic book on tissue engineering (2003, http://www.oulu.fi/spareparts/ebook_topics_in_t_e/list_of_contr.html) and a text entitled “Embryos, Genes and Birth Defects” (2006; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9780470090121).
Patrizia Ferretti has a long-standing interest in the basic mechanisms governing regeneration of a variety of complex body structures in vertebrates, and on the relationship between regeneration and the normal and abnormal development of such structures. Within this context her current work is mainly focused on the issues of stem cell plasticity and differentiation potential and their underlying molecular basis, and on how this could be used to develop models of human diseases, particularly childhood diseases, and devise strategies for restoring functionality in damaged or diseased human tissues with a particular focus on the nervous system and craniofacial abnormalities.
ROLE OF PEPTIDYLARGININE DEIMINASES IN NEURAL PROGENITORS IN HEALTH AND DISEASE
ESTABLISHMENT OF 3D MODELS FOR THE STUDY OF HUMAN NEURAL CELLS
ADIPOSE-TISSUE DERIVED STEM CELLS FOR CRANIOFACIAL AND NEURAL REPAIR
ROLE OF THE CHOROID PLEXUS IN THE DEVELOPING BRAIN
Neural Stem Cells, Adipocyte-derived Stem Cell, Regeneration, Repair, Spinal Cord, Brain, Choroid Plexus, Development, Differentiation, Apoptosis, Cartilage, Bone, Hypoxia
Injury, Birth Defects, Ischaemic Stroke, Hydrocephalus
Cell and organotypic cultures, Cell tracking, Cell transplantation, Gene and protein expression profiling, Immunohistochemistry, Fluorescence microscopy techniques, Confocal microscopy, Image analysis, In vivo electroporation, Ionophoresis and microinjection, Light microscopic techniques, Microarrays, Proteomics, Pharmacological and genetic manipulations
Human, chick, rodent, amphibians
She has designed and is the tutor of the Stem Cells and Tissue Repair Module that is part of the new MRes on ” Cell and Gene Therapy” at UCL Institute of Child Health.
She supervises several undergraduate and Master projects, in addition to PhD and MD students. She is also a member of the Research Degree Committee at UCL-ICH.