Stem Cells Australia member, Dr Toby Merson, was recently awarded a Fellowship by The University of Melbourne's Melbourne Neuroscience Institute (MNI) to support his research into a type of brain cell called an oligodendrocyte.
In a story appearing in this week's MUSSE E-News, Toby said, “[The MNI Fellowship will] act as an important bridging fellowship for future funding from the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council”.
“My research centres on the function of a type of brain cell called an oligodendrocyte. These cells support the function of nerve cells by wrapping a fatty membrane around their axon, much like the plastic insulation around an electrical cable.
“This wrapping process, known as myelination, increases the speed of electrical conduction along the axon.
“The research is important for understanding how myelination is synchronised during development of the brain, but also in adult life where increased myelination of particular neural circuits involved in learnt behaviours such as piano playing is optimised to improve performance.”
Toby is a researcher at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
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