Professor Trevor Kilpatrick

 - Chief Investigator

Research focus: Aetiology, pathogenesis and treatemnt of multiple sclerosis

Professor Trevor Kilpatrick of the University of Melbourne is an internationally recognized neuroscience researcher. Over the last 20 years, he has been seminally involved, together with Professor Perry Bartlett, in a number of significant paradigm shifts in neuroscience research, in particular as it pertains to neural stem cell research. Professors Kilpatrick and Bartlett were the first to conclusively demonstrate that stem cells exist in the embryonic forebrain (Kilpatrick & Bartlett, Neuron 10: 255) and that neurogenesis occurs within the adult mammalian central nervous system (PNAS 89: 8591).

More recently, Kilpatrick has established that neural stem cell self-renewal is critically dependent on the LIF receptor signalling pathway (Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 27:255; Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 31: 739), and is currently using this background knowledge to underpin transgenic approaches designed to assess in vivo stem cell responsiveness that are proposed in the current application. A related area of fundamental interest of Kilpatrick has been to dissect the neural response to inflammatory demyelinative insults.

Kilpatrick’s group has established that the neural response is not passive and that it is a critical determinant of outcome. Kilpatrick has also established the importance of cytokines in regeneration, demonstrating the involvement of multipotential stem cells, committed oligodendrocyte progenitors and pre-existing oligodendrocytes in this response and resulting in a series of high impact publications (e.g. Nature Medicine 8: 613; 55, PNAS 103: 7859, 2006).

Within the Stem Cells Australia initiative, Trevor Kilpatrick will act as CI of a program that continues and extends this work to further the in depth understanding of how neural precursor cells behave in a variety of in vivo and in vitro contexts. In particular, the work will further our understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic signals for neurogenesis and the similarities and differences in the capacity of neural stem cells and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells to commit to the regenerative response. This work will be carried out in partnership with Professors Bartlett and Pera.