The Integrative Center for Neural Repair (ICNR) at
UCLA brings together cutting edge research from a broad
range of disciplines in order to accelerate the pace of
scientific discovery, paving the way for more effective
and innovative treatments for diseases and injuries of
the nervous system.
Whether due to injury or disease, damage to the
central nervous system negatively impacts millions of
lives each year. Neurodegenerative diseases such as
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, or Huntington’s
progressively debilitate patients over time, while
stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury
can alter the course of a life in an instant.
Unfortunately, current treatments for these disorders
are few and limited in scope, and mostly deal with
alleviating symptoms rather than repairing the damage.
To shift the current paradigm, our research focus is not
only to understand the underlying mechanisms of neuronal
degeneration, but also to study how healthy neurons
develop and function, protect themselves against damage,
and recover by forming new connections and networks.
Built on a foundation of collaboration among
world-class experts in the four major areas of
Neurodegenration, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and
Spinal Cord Injury, scientists at the ICNR can examine
common pathways and elements involved in these seemingly
different diseases, ranging from the most basic
(molecular and cellular) to the most complex (human
patient) perspectives. Intrinsic to our collaboration is
the ability to rapidly and seamlessly share and
translate insights gained from one area to the others.
For example, we can study the use of endogenous and
transplanted stem cells in a model of stroke, which can
then be applied to neurodegeneration or spinal cord
injury, or apply knowledge gained from studying protein
aggregation in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease to
those observed in spinal cord or traumatic brain
injuries, or study the role of mitochondria (the
powerhouses of cellular respiration) in healthy cells,
in developing targeted therapies for a number of
ICNR faculty members are also active in mentoring the
next generation of scientists in the areas of neuronal
development, degeneration and repair. Through laboratory
experience and participation in scientific meetings and
seminars, trainees gain the multi-disciplinary and
in-depth training needed to lead the next generation of
The collaborative efforts of over 40 scientists and
physicians working across multiple disease areas and
disciplines, uniquely enables ICNR investigators to work
as a cohesive unit dedicated to finding improved
solutions for the challenges of nervous system repair
Marie-Francoise Chesselet, M.D., Ph.D.
David Hovda, Ph.D.
S. Thomas Carmichael, M.D., Ph.D.
V. Reggie Edgerton, Ph.D.
Michele Basso, Ph.D.