Stefano Pluchino, MD, PhD

Stefano Pluchino received his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Siena, Italy, and additional training at Cambridge University, UK.  ​He is currently University Reader in Regenerative Neuroimmunology (2016) and Honorary Consultant in Neurology, within the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Cambridge University. 

Stefano Pluchino has a strong interest in Regenerative Neuroimmunology, and his research over the last 20 years has recalibrated the classical view that cellular grafts only function through structural cell replacement and opened up a new therapeutic avenue by which to use exogenously delivered stem cells, or even stem cell-derived acellular therapies that include extracellular vesicles and exosomes. 

The Pluchino team studies whether the accumulation of neurological disability observed in patients with chronic inflammatory neurological conditions can be slowed down using next generation molecular therapies. The overarching aim is to understand the basic mechanisms that allow exogenously delivered stem cells, gene therapy vectors and/or exosomes to create an environment that preserves damaged axons or prevents neurons from dying. 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. By understanding the mechanisms of intercellular (stem cell) signalling, diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) may be treated more effectively, and significant neuroprotection may be achieved with new tailored molecular therapeutics.​

Stefano Pluchino is recipient of numerous national and international awards, among which the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM) Rita Levi-Montalcini prize for outstanding research in MS (2007) and the International Royan Award for outstanding research in Stem Cell Biology and Technology (2010). He is a 2009 Italian Ministry of Health Young Investigator Awardee and 2010 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher. 

 

His laboratory research on Regenerative Neuroimmunology is documented in >200 publications in international journals, including many recent articles in highly prestigious journals, such as Nature, Cell, Cell Stem Cell, Nat Cell Biol, Nat Chem Biol, PNAS, PLoS Med, Brain, Ann Neurol, and J Neurosci, as well as invited review articles in Nat Rev Neurosci, Physiol Reviews, Trends in Mol Med and Trends Immunol. His publications have to date received >12.000 citations (ISI-WOK), having a Hirsch Factor of 48.

 

email: spp24@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331163 (office)

skype me at stefanopluchino

Twitter: @Pluchinolab

Post doctoral fellows

Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti, MD, PhD

Luca is a Clinical Research Associate and Honorary Clinical Fellow at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge (UK) and Neurology consultant. 
His work has been focusing on the application of molecular and cellular therapies to acute and chronic disorders of the Central Nervous System (including ischemic stroke and multiple sclerosis).
After receiving his MD (2007) from the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan (Italy), Luca completed a residency program in Neurology at the same University in 2013. 
He then successfully obtained a Wellcome Trust research training fellowship and completed a PhD in Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge (2018). 
During the past years, he has worked as visiting scientist in major European universities, such as the University Hospital in Zürich (Switzerland), the University of Aarhus (Denmark), the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Restorative Neurology of Lund (Sweden) and the University of Innsbruck (Austria).
Currently, Luca is studying how progression works in multiple sclerosis by focusing on the link between immune cell metabolism and chronic neuroinflammation (thanks to a Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla-FISM Senior Research Fellowship).

email: lp429@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at lucaperuzzotti

Twitter: @Dr_LPJ

Jayden Smith, PhD

Jayden received a BSc in Chemistry and Computer Science (2003) and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry (2008) from James Cook University (Australia). His PhD thesis concerned the study of multinuclear metal complexes as stereoselective probes of nucleic acids.

He joined the PluchinoLab as a postdoctoral research associate in 2011. Here he worked on the development of RNA nanotherapeutics for combinatorial applications alongside induced neural stem cell transplantation for repair of the central nervous system.

He has since joined Cambridge Innovation Technologies Consulting Ltd as a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager. He has been recently appointed as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at asitia Therapeutics, a newly formed exosome biotech company, but remains with the PluchinoLab as a visiting researcher.

email: jayden.smith@citc-ltd.co.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at jayden.aaron.smith

Twitter: @GourmetJesus

Alexandra Nicaise, PhD
Alexandra received her bachelors degree in Neuroscience from Trinity College, Hartford, CT, United States (2013). She then completed her PhD at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2019 in the lab of Dr. Stephen Crocker. Her PhD thesis involved the characterization of neural progenitor cells developed from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Alexandra joined the Pluchino Lab in March 2019 as a postdoctoral research associate to work on the development of induced neural stem cell therapeutics for progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS). In addition she is using induced neural stem cells from patients with PMS to model cellular senescence in vitro towards understanding why regeneration failure occurs in this disease. 

email: an574@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at alexandramnicaise

Twitter: @Telencephale

Cory Willis, PhD

Cory received his bachelors degree in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States (2012). He then completed his PhD at the University of Connecticut in 2019 in the lab of Stephen Crocker.  His PhD thesis was two-fold, first to characterize astrocyte-derived EVs as a means to identify and isolate astrocyte EVs from complex biological fluids and secondly to discern plasma EVs as immune regulators in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Cory joined the Pluchino Lab in May 2019 as a postdoctoral research associate to work on the characterization of the metabolic profile of induced microglia from progressive multiple sclerosis patients. In addition, he is contributing to an on-going project investigating how sustained mitochondrial activity in mononuclear phagocytes leads to a chronically active inflammatory phenotype in a pre-clinical animal model of progressive multiple sclerosis. 

email: cw739@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at cwillis53_1

Twitter: @exosomeguy

Graduate Students

Regan Hamel, BSc, MPhil

Regan graduated in 2017 from McGill University (Canada) with a Bachelors degree in Neuroscience and a focus on computation and physiology. Her senior project was in Dr. Mendola's lab in the department of Ophthalmology where she investigated the effect of individual differences on two visual phenomena: binocular rivalry and dichoptic masking. 

​Regan joined the PluchinoLab in October 2017 to work on her MPhil in Medical Sciences supported by a graduate scholarship from the Canadian Scholarship Trust Fund. After successfully completing her MPhil, and gaining the necessary wet lab and bioinformatic skills.

She continued on in the lab as PhD student with the support of a full scholarship (tuition and stipend) from the Cambridge Trust and a PhD project consumables grant from Rosetrees Trust. Regan’s PhD project involves the investigation of non-neuronal cells in the context of spinal cord injury using single cell RNA sequencing. 

 

email: rh680@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at regan_hamel

Twitter: @regan_hamel

Grzegorz Krzak, BSc, MSC

Greg received his Bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland (2016). In 2016 he joined Prof. Miller’s lab to work on his MSc thesis in the department of Clinical Neuroscience at King’s College London. After graduation he joined Prof. Smith’s Lab at the Department of Neuroinflammation (UCL), Queen Square to study the role of hypoxia in multiple sclerosis.

Greg joined the PluchinoLab in October 2019 to work on his PhD thesis investigating the role of succinate receptor/GPR91 in immune cells during neuroinflammation.

 

email: gk433@cam.ac.uk 

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at krzak9327

Andrea D'Angelo, BSc

Andrea completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2018 at the  and he is currently a Master’s Student of Neuroscience in Trieste. During his Bachelor Traineeship he studied the new techniques of microscopy used to study dendritic spines at the University of L’Aquila with Professor Elisabetta Benedetti.

Andrea joined the Pluchino Lab in February under the sponsorship of an Extra-Erasmus project.

He is working on a project, which aims at generating and characterising induced neural stem cells from patients with progressive multiple sclerosis.

 

email: ad2038@cam.ac.uk 

Tel.: +39 3703565105

fax: +44 1223 331174

Larissa Roth, BSc

Larissa completed her Bachelor´s Degree in Biomedicine in 2019 at the University of Würzburg (Julius-Maximilans-Universität Würzburg), where she is currently a Master´s Student of Biomedicine. During her Bachelor Traineeship she studied the effects of butyrophilins on Vgamma9Vdelta2 T-cell activation at the Institute of Immunology and Virology (Würzburg) with Professor Thomas Herrmann. 

Larissa joined the Pluchino Lab in March 2020 under the sponsorship of an Erasmus+. She is working on a project, which aims at characterising induced neural stem cell grafts in a mouse model of focal CNS demyelination.

 

email: lr521@cam.ac.uk 

Tel.: +44 1223 31168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

Skype me at live:roth.larissa

Veronica Testa, BSc

Veronica completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Biotechnologies in 2018 at the University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano) and she is currently a Master’s Student of Medical Biotechnologies in Milan. During her Bachelor Traineeship she studied the effect of chronic oxidative stress on cell models of ALS at the Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Milan) with Professor Antonia Ratti.

 

Veronica joined the Pluchino Lab in October 2019 with the Erasmus+ project and is studying the effect of spinal cord injury on microglia and bone marrow-derived macrophages.

 

email: vt308@cam.ac.uk 

Tel.: +39 3462872043

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at veronica161210

Laboratory Technicians

Daniel Trajkovski

Daniel graduated in 2012 from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Macedonia with BEng (Hons) in Animal Science. His graduation project was in Prof Vukovic’s group where he investigated using a certain genetic markers (Bovine leukocyte adhesion deficiency syndrome, Porcine stress syndrome, Scrapie) in the breeding of the animals with potential to improve the production or to reduce the negative factors.

Daniel was working as Flow Cytometry Assistant at the Cambridge BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub before joining the Pluchinolab in November 2018. Currently, he is a candidate for MSc in Animal Genetics and Selection at the Institute of Animal Biotechnology in Macedonia.

email: dt440@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at danieltrajkovski

Vasiliki Pappa, BSc

Vasiliki received her BSc in Biology from University of Patras, Greece (2015). She then completed her MSc at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. During this period she joined dr. Caiazzo’s group (Utrecht University) working on a project regarding the generation of human astrocytes from human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs). Later she joined Prof. Martino’s group in San Raffaele Scientific Institute (Milan, Italy) working on a transplant strategy of Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs) to promote neuroprotection in multiple sclerosis.

Vasiliki joined the PluchinoLab in March 2020 to work as Junior Research Laboratory Technician.

email: vp399@cam.ac.uk

Tel.: +44 1223 331168 (office)

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at Vasiliki Pappa

Team Administrator

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email: xxxxxxxxxxx

tel: +44 1223 331163

fax: +44 1223 331174

skype me at Pluchino_lab

Pluchino Lab

Regenerative Neuroimmunology

University of Cambridge Bioscience Campus

Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Clifford Albutt Building

Hills Road

Cambridge, CB2 0AH (UK)

Tel: +44 1223 762042

spp24@cam.ac.uk

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