Greg Duncan

  • Research area
    Cell and Developmental Biology
  • History

    B.Sc Cell Biology and Genetics, University of British Columbia

Myelin is proteolipid that ensheathes the long processes of neurons (termed axons) which carry information to and from the brain. It greatly enhances the speed of conduction and reduces the energy use within the axon. Diseases like periventricular leukomalacia in infants, multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults or simply traumatic injury can damage myelin. Regeneration of myelin occurs in most MS patients, but is often incomplete. A failure to regenerate myelin is associated with increased axon loss, the main correlate of progressive disability in MS patients.
Previously, I determined that myelin regulatory factor (myrf), an essential transcription factor for myelination during development, is also required for myelin repair. Endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) normally produce new oligodendrocytes which regenerate myelin in response to damage. However, when myrf is removed from OPCs, mice are unable to generate new myelin. Demyelinated lesions in these mice mimic chronically demyelinated lesions in MS patients, where OPCs are unable to mature into new remyelinating oligodendrocytes. I am currently examining the functional and anatomical consequences of impaired remyelination in a mouse model of MS.

Top poster at the 2013 Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Conference in Halifax

2013
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For Research

MS Society of Canada Doctoral Trainee Award

2013
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For Research

Top poster at the inaugural BC Stem and Regenerative Medicine Conference

2013
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For Research

CIHR Transplant Trainee Award

2011
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For Research

MS Society of Canada Doctoral Trainee Award

2011
/
For Research

Paralyzed Veterans of America Poster Award at the 14th International Symposium on Neural Regeneration

2011
/
For Research
Canonical Wnt signalling in PDGFRalpha-expressing cells is a critical regulator of astrogliosis and axon regeneration following CNS injury
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 34:16163-16165
Duncan GJ, Assinck P, Hilton BJ
2014
Dorsolateral funiculus lesioning of the mouse cervical spinal cord at C4 but not at C6 results in sustained forelimb motor deficits
Journal of Neurotrauma 30:1070-1083
Hilton BJ, Assinck P, Duncan GJ, Lu D, Lo S, Tetzlaff W
2013
A graded forceps crush spinal cord injury model in mice
Journal of neurotrauma, 25(4), 350–70.
Plemel, Jason R, Duncan, G., Chen, K.-W. K., Shannon, C., Park, S., Sparling, J. S., & Tetzlaff, W
-2008
Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-Responsive Neural Precursors Give Rise to Myelinating Oligodendrocytes After Transplantation into the Spinal Cords of Contused Rats and Dysmyelinated Mice
Glia, 59(12), 1891–1910.
Plemel, J R, Chojnacki, A., Sparling, J. S., Liu, J., Plunet, W., Duncan, G. J., Park, S. E., et al
-2011
Remyelination after spinal cord injury: is it a target for repair?
Progress in neurobiology 117:54-72
Plemel JR, Keough MB, Duncan GJ, Sparling JS, Yong VW, Stys PK, Tetzlaff W