John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair

School of Clinical Medicine



In this section


Robin Franklin

Professor of Stem Cell Medicine, Deputy Director of Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Tel.: +44 (0)1223 337642

Other relevant links

Research description

FranklinThe Franklin lab studies the mechanisms of Central Nervous System (CNS) regeneration with a particular focus on remyelination, a regenerative process mediated by adult stem/precursor cell, in which new myelin sheaths are restored to demyelinated axons. Using a wide range of experimental approaches we are examining extrinsic (environmental) and intrinsic (transcriptional/epigenetic) factors that govern the responses of adult neural stem/precursor cells to injury and their differentiation into oligodendrocytes and other glia following CNS injury. The potential medical benefits of this research are to stop nerve cell degeneration and therefore provide a treatment for the currently untreatable secondary progressive phase of multiple sclerosis. Robin is Director of the UK MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.


RF lab

Electronmicrograph of remyelination following experimental demyelination


Main collaborators

Charles ffrench-Constant – University of Edinburgh
Bill Richardson – UCL
Patrizia Casaccia – Mount Sinai School of Medicine
David Rowitch – University of Cambridge
Kevin Chalut – University of Cambridge
Kevin Brindle – University of Cambridge
Ben Simons – University of Cambridge


Key publications

de la Fuente AG, Errea O, van Wijngaarden P, Gonzalez GA, Kerninon C, Jarjour AA, Lewis HJ, Jones CA, Nait-Oumesmar B, Zhao C et al. 2015. Vitamin D receptor-retinoid X receptor heterodimer signaling regulates oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation. /J Cell Biol/ 211: 975-985.

Zhao C, Ma D, Zawadzka M, Fancy SP, Elis-Williams L, Bouvier G, Stockley JH, de Castro GM, Wang B, Jacobs S et al. 2015. Sox2 Sustains Recruitment of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells following CNS Demyelination and Primes Them for Differentiation during Remyelination. /J Neurosci/ 35: 11482-11499.

Natrajan MS, de la Fuente AG, Crawford AH, Linehan E, Nunez V, Johnson KR, Wu T, Fitzgerald DC, Ricote M, Bielekova B et al. 2015. Retinoid X receptor activation reverses age-related deficiencies in myelin debris phagocytosis and remyelination. /Brain/ 138: 3581-3597.

Moyon S, Dubessy AL, Aigrot MS, Trotter M, Huang JK, Dauphinot L, Potier MC, Kerninon C, Melik Parsadaniantz S, Franklin RJM et al. 2015. Demyelination causes adult CNS progenitors to revert to an immature state and express immune cues that support their migration. /J Neurosci/ 35: 4-20.

Miron VE, Boyd A, Zhao JW, Yuen TJ, Ruckh JM, Shadrach JL, van Wijngaarden P, Wagers AJ, Williams A, Franklin RJM et al. 2013. M2 microglia and macrophages drive oligodendrocyte differentiation during CNS remyelination. /Nat Neurosci/ 16: 1211-1218.

van Wijngaarden P, Franklin RJM. 2013. Ageing stem and progenitor cells: implications for rejuvenation of the central nervous system. /Development/ *140*: 2562-2575.

Stacpoole SR, Spitzer S, Bilican B, Compston A, Karadottir R, Chandran S, Franklin RJM. 2013. High yields of oligodendrocyte lineage cells from human embryonic stem cells at physiological oxygen tensions for evaluation of translational biology. /Stem cell reports/ 1: 437-450

Ruckh JM, Zhao JW, Shadrach JL, van Wijngaarden P, Rao TN, Wagers AJ, Franklin RJM. 2012. Rejuvenation of regeneration in the aging central nervous system. /Cell Stem Cell/ 10: 96-103.

Franklin RJM, Ffrench-Constant C, Edgar JM, Smith KJ. 2012. Neuroprotection and repair in multiple sclerosis. /Nat Rev Neurol/ 8: 624-634.

Granger N, Blamires H, Franklin RJM, Jeffery ND. 2012. Autologous olfactory mucosal cell transplants in clinical spinal cord injury: a randomized double-blinded trial in a canine translational model. /Brain/ 135: 3227-3237.

Fancy SPJ, Chan JR, Baranzini SE, Franklin RJM, Rowitch DH. 2011a. Myelin regeneration: a recapitulation of development? /Annual Review of Neuroscience/ 34: 19-41.

Fancy SPJ, Harrington EP, Yuen TJ, Silbereis JC, Zhao C, Baranzini SE, Bruce CC, Otero JJ, Huang EJ, Nusse R et al. 2011b. Axin2 as regulatory and therapeutic target in newborn brain injury and remyelination. /Nat Neurosci/ 14: 1009-1016.

Franklin RJM, ffrench-Constant C. 2008. Remyelination in the CNS: from biology to therapy. /Nat Rev Neurosci/ 9: 839-855.

Huang JK, Jarjour AA, Nait Oumesmar B, Kerninon C, Williams A, Krezel W, Kagechika H, Bauer J, Zhao C, Baron van Evercooren A et al. 2011. Retinoid X receptor gamma signaling accelerates CNS remyelination. /Nature Neuroscience/ 14: 45-53.

Zawadzka M, Rivers LE, Fancy SPJ, Zhao C, Tripathi R, Jamen F, Young K, Goncharevich A, Pohl H, Rizzi M et al. 2010. CNS-resident glial progenitor/stem cells produce Schwann cells as well as oligodendrocytes during repair of CNS demyelination. /Cell Stem Cell/ 6: 578-590.

Fancy SPJ, Baranzini SE, Zhao C, Yuk DI, Irvine KA, Kaing S, Sanai N, Franklin RJM, Rowitch DH. 2009. Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway inhibits timely myelination and remyelination in the mammalian CNS. /Genes Dev/ 23: 1571-1585.

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