Dr. Horner’s research focuses on regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) with an emphasis on stem cell and progenitor cell biology. His primary interests are in the molecular controls of neural and glial cell interactions in models of demyelination, injury and degeneration. His laboratory uses cellular and molecular techniques to study stem cells and their progeny in the intact and injured CNS. The adult spinal CNS retains a stem cell with the capacity to differentiate into all the major cell subtypes of the mature CNS: neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
The Horner lab is using confocal microscopy and time-lapse imaging to track these cells, labeled with retroviruses, in the intact and injured brain. Other projects include the discovery and experimental delivery of growth factors that regulate axon regeneration and myelination in models of spinal cord trauma, demyelinating disorders and retinal degeneration.