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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



Having had a life time interest investigating the glycobiology of the cell surface, I am  now concentrating on the characterization of glycoproteins that act as neural repellents. Our laboratory is currently investigating 2 axon-repulsive systems, where the underlying mechanisms can be studied at the molecular level.

First, the characterization of the glycoproteins on the surface of chick somite cells that repel axons and that create the segmented pattern of spinal nerves during development. Second, a repulsive protein in the grey  matter of the adult mammalian brain is being investigated; it is hypothesized that this protein may have evolved to regulate synaptic plasticity, and may contribute to CNS regenerative failure. Besides elucidating the molecular biology of these proteins and their receptors, an important clinical aim will be to interfere with their inhibitory action using models of brain and spinal cord injury, to see whether improved functional regeneration can be achieved.

Main collaborators

Professor Roger Keynes

Professor Christine Holt

Dr David Tannahill (CRUK)


Key publications: 

Cook GMW, Jareonsettasin P, Keynes RJ, (2014), Growth cone collapse assay in Axon Growth and Regeneration (Murray AJ ed), Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1163 pp 73- 83 Springer Science, New York

Manns R, Schmandke A, Schmandke A, Jareonsettasin P, Cook G, Schwabe ME, Holt C, Keynes R, (2014), Protein synthesis dependence of growth cone collapse induced by different Nogo-A-domains, Plos One, 9, 1-7, e86820

Palfreyman J, Love D, Philpott A, Vyas K, Cimorra C, Mitrelias T, Barnes C, Muir L, Cook G, Keynes R, (2013), Hetero-Coated Magnetic Microcarriers for Point-Of-Care Diagnostics, IEEE Trans. Mag., 49, 285-295

Manns RPC, Cook GMW, Holt CE, Keynes RJ, (2012), Differing Semaphorin 3A Concentrations trigger distinct signalling mechanisms in growth cone collapse, J Neurosci., 32, 8554-8559

Auletta G, Colage I, Cook G, D’Ambrosio P, Ramon M, Pinsent A, (2011), Functional Equivalence between plant PRORP1 and bacterial RNase P Ribonucleic acid (RNA) raises questions on control and recognition mechanisms, J Computational Biol.& Bioinfo. Res., 3,63-64

Teaching and Supervisions


Part II Module N1 Developmental Neurobiology

Part II PDN Neuroscience Workshops – Experimental Approaches in Brain Research

Affiliated Lecturer
Dr Geoffrey  Cook

Contact Details

+44 (0) 1223 333760, Fax: +44 (0) 1223 333786