Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Camden

Jon is a postdoctoral researcher developing translational therapies for spinal cord injury. He is involved in multi-disciplinary projects involving regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and neuroprosthetics.

Jon graduated with distinction in Veterinary Science and an intercalated degree in Neuroscience from the University of Bristol in 2013. After a brief period working in South Africa he returned to the UK and worked in mixed vet practice for 18 months. He then undertook a 1-year rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery from 2015-2016. Jon developed an interest in spinal cord injury and completed a PhD in regenerative medicine and neuroscience at the University of Bristol in 2019 investigating olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation for spinal cord injury. The work included modification of these cells to express chondroitinase ABC and transplant within stiffness-matched hydrogel biomaterials. He started at the RVC in 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher on an EPSRC funded project to design an "intelligent neuroprosthesis" to manage incontinence after spinal cord injury. 

Jon currently works on 2 main projects:

1. An EPSRC funded project aiming to develop an intelligent neuroprosthesis for control of urinary incontinence in patients with chronic spinal cord injury. The project aims to determine bladder volume and pressure by discriminating electrical signals from bladder nerves as they enter the spinal cord at the sacral roots using an electrical cuff implanted around the nerve.

2. A pilot, phase 1 trial of intra-spinal transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells modified to express chondroitinase ABC in pet dogs with naturally occurring chronic spinal cord injury. This is a continuation of work developed during his PhD and is funded by the Langford Charitable Trust.

Prager, J., Adams, C., Delaney, A., Chanoit, G., Tarlton, J., Wong, LF., Chari, D., Granger, N. Stiffness-matched biomaterial implants for cell delivery: clinical, intraoperative ultrasound elastography provides a ‘target’ stiffness for hydrogel synthesis in spinal cord injury. Journal of Tissue Engineering (in press)

Ito, D., Carwardine, D., Prager, J., Wong, L. F., Kitagawa, M., Jeffery, N. & Granger, N. Methods of olfactory ensheathing cell harvesting from the olfactory mucosa in dogs. PLoS One 14, e0213252 (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213252

Carwardine, D., Prager, J., Neeves, J., Muir, E. M., Uney, J., Granger, N. & Wong, L.-F. Transplantation of canine olfactory ensheathing cells producing chondroitinase ABC promotes chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan digestion and axonal sprouting following spinal cord injury. PLoS One 12, e0188967 (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188967 

Hulse, R. P., Beazley-Long, N., Hua, J., Kennedy, H., Prager, J., Bevan, H., Qiu, Y., Fernandes, E. S., Gammons, M. V., Ballmer-Hofer, K., Gittenberger de Groot, A. C., Churchill, A. J., Harper, S. J., Brain, S. D., Bates, D. O. & Donaldson, L. F. Regulation of alternative VEGF-A mRNA splicing is a therapeutic target for analgesia. Neurobiol. Dis. 71, 245–259 (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.08.012

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