Anthony Fernandez-Castaneda, B.S. Molecular Biology, University of California, SD
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease characterized by the destruction of the myelin sheath surrounding axons in the central nervous system (CNS). Following an MS episode axons are left exposed and susceptible to death by inflammatory mediators. The healthy CNS contains oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) that are capable of remyelinating axons but fail to do so in MS. Currently, all MS therapies are aimed at dampening inflammation but do not promote remyelination. My project is focused on studying OPC biology in order to develop remyelinating agents for those suffering with MS. In addition, I am exploring unknown functions of adult OPCs in the healthy CNS.