John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair

School of Clinical Medicine



In this section


Stefano Pluchino

University Lecturer in Brain Repair and Honorary Neurology Consultant, University of Cambridge, UK


Non-tenured Professor of Regenerative Neuroscience, Medical School, University Vita e Salute, Milano, Italy

Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, The University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT, USA


Research interests

My laboratory provided the first evidence of the immune modulatory functions of neural stem cells. This seminal observation led to pre-clinical studies where stem cells were injected through biological routes to protect the nervous system from secondary tissue damage. My group is now confronting with some key challenges that include: 1. The development of protocols for safe human stem cells under standardized conditions; 2. The choice of route of cell injection, cell dosage and cell type/stage; 3. The identification of mechanisms of stem cell integration and signalling; 4. The discovery of new biomarkers of stem cell survival, biodistribution and functional effects. We are fully committed to delivering next-generation stem cell therapies into clinics for the treatment of highly invalidating neurological disorders that include multiple sclerosis, stroke and traumatic injuries of the brain/spinal cord.**

Non-technical description

In our lab we study how various types of stem cells and other advanced molecular therapies are able to help the damaged or diseased brain heal or even regenerate. In particular, we are clarifying the molecular mechanisms that transplanted stem cells use to interact with their surrounding tissue, the so-called microenvironment. Such mechanisms may be harnessed and used to modulate disease states in an effort to repair and/or regenerate critical components of the nervous system.


SP lab

Transplanted iNSCs (green) migrate in the injured CNS accumulating close to reactive GFAP+ astrocytes (white), while differentiate into NeuN+ (red) neurons with fully formed spines. Nuclei are stained with DAPI (blue). (Credit Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti and Giulio Volpe)


Further information here

Post doctoral Research Associates

Inma Conejos Sanchez (Conselleria De educación Fellow)
Almudena Fuster Matanzo (Marie Curie Intraeuropean Fellow)
Nunzio Iraci
Dai Matsuse
Jayden A. Smith

PhD/MPhil Students

Alice Braga (visiting from the University of Verona)
Joshua Bernstock (NIH/OxCam Scholar)
Florian Gessler (Gates Scholar)
Tommaso Leonardi
Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti (Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow)
Jeroen Verheyen
Nunzio Vicario (visiting from the University of Catania)
Giulio Volpe

Research Assistants/Personal Assistant

Beatrice Balzarotti
Joan Pidgeon


Iacopo Bicci (visiting from the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele)
Giulia Manferrari (visiting from the University of Bologna)


Selected Publications
1.S Tambalo, L Peruzzotti-Jametti, R Rigolio, S Fiorini, P Bontempi, G Mallucci, A Sbarbati, P Marmiroli, G Cavaletti, S Pluchino* and P Marzola*. *Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveal brain cortex remodelling in a rat model of chronic multiple sclerosis*. J Neurosci 2015 July 8;35(27): 10088 –10100 (IF: 6.908)*co-corresponding authors;

2.C Cossetti, N Iraci, TR Mercer, T Leonardi, E Alpi, D Drago, C Alfaro-Cervello, H Saini, M Davis, J Schaeffer, WMuller, JM Garcia-Verdugo, S Mathivanan, A Bachi, A Enright, JS Mattick, S Pluchino.  Extracellular vesicles from neural stem cells transfer IFN-g via Ifngr1 to activate Stat1 signalling in target cells . Mol Cell 2014 Oct 23;56(2):193-204 (IF: 14.464);

3.Cerri F, Salvatore L, Memon D, Martinelli Boneschi F, Madaghiele M, Brambilla P, Del Carro U, Taveggia C, Riva N, Trimarco A, Lopez ID, Comi G, Pluchino S, Martino G, Sannino A, Quattrini A. Peripheral nerve morphogenesis induced by scaffold micropatterning. Biomaterials 2014 Apr;35(13):4035-45 (IF: 7.604);

4.  Cusimano M, Biziato D, Brambilla E, Donegà M, Alfaro-Cervello C, Snider S, Salani G, Pucci F, Comi G, Garcia-Verdugo JM, De Palma M, Martino G,  Pluchino S . Transplanted neural stem/precursor cells instruct phagocytes and reduce secondary tissue damage in the injured spinal cord . Brain. 2012; 135(Pt 2): 447-60 (IF: 9.915);

5.  Cimadamore F, Fishwick K, Giusto E, Gnedeva K, Cattarossi G, Miller A, Pluchino S, Brill LM, Bronner-Fraser M, Terskikh AV. Human ESC-derived neural crest model reveals a key role for SOX2 in sensory neurogenesis. Cell Stem Cell. 2011; 8(5): 538-51 (IF: 25.421)

6.Pluchino S, Gritti A, Blezer E, Amadio S, Brambilla E, Borsellino G, Cossetti C, Del Carro U, Comi G, ‘t Hart B, Vescovi A, Martino G. Human neural stem cells ameliorate autoimmune encephalomyelitis in non-human primates. Ann Neurol. 2009; 66(3): 343-54 (IF: 9.935);

7.  Bacigaluppi M, Pluchino S, Peruzzotti-Jametti L, Kilic E, Kilic U, Salani G, Brambilla E, West MJ, Comi G, Martino G, Hermann DM. Delayed post-ischaemic neuroprotection following systemic neural stem cell transplantation involves multiple mechanisms. Brain. 2009; 132(Pt 8): 2239-51 (IF: 9.490);

8.  Politi LS, Bacigaluppi M, Brambilla E, Cadioli M, Falini A, Comi G, Scotti G, Martino G, Pluchino S. Magnetic-resonance-based tracking and quantification of intravenously injected neural stem cell accumulation in the brains of mice with experimental multiple sclerosis. Stem Cells. 2007; 25(10): 2583-92 (IF: 7.531);

9.Pluchino S, Zanotti L, Rossi B, Brambilla E, Ottoboni L, Salani G, Martinello M, Cattalini A, Bergami A, Furlan R, Comi G, Constantin G, Martino G. Neurosphere-derived multipotent precursors promote neuroprotection by an immunomodulatory mechanism. Nature. 2005; 436(7048): 266-71 (IF: 29.273);

10.Pluchino S_, Quattrini A, Brambilla E, Gritti A, Salani G, Dina G, Galli R, Del Carro U, Amadio S, Bergami A, Furlan R, Comi G, Vescovi AL, Martino G. Injection of adult neurospheres induces recovery in a chronic model of multiple sclerosis. Nature. 2003; 422(6933): 688-94 (IF: 30.979);



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