University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Investigators Secure $1.8m NIH Grant for Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford Investigators Secure $1.8m NIH Grant for Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford researchers received a five-year grant totaling over $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health that will hopefully enhance research underway to help people affected by a type of hereditary paralysis and possibly other types of debilitating diseases caused by degeneration in nerve cells. The principal investigator for the study, Xue-Jun Li, PhD, is co-director of the Regenerative Medicine and Disability Research Laboratory on the UIC Health Sciences Campus—Rockford.

Target Axonal & Synaptic Degeneration in Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia

The goal of this study is for the investigators to focus on how nerve cells communicate during the early phases of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a disease that can eventually result in severe disability. The study is expected to reveal novel roles of glial cells in particular in the disease process of HSP.

Regenerative Medicine and Disability Laboratory

The Regenerative Medicine and Disability Laboratory is part of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford. Established through generous support of the Blazer Foundation, this lab is headed by Dr. Xue-Jun Li and Dr. Mathew T. Mathew who focus on fighting human motor neuron diseases and improving the integration of metal implants into the surrounding bone tissue, respectively. By combining stem cell biology, bioengineering, biomaterials, system biology, pharmacology and medicine, research in the RMDR Lab aims to identify therapeutic agents, novel biomaterials and innovative approaches to improve clinical practice to provide better health care to patients with disabilities.

Lead Research/Investigator

Xue-Jun Li, PhD, is co-director of the Regenerative Medicine and Disability Research Laboratory on the UIC Health Sciences Campus—Rockford.