RESEARCH

The McCreedy Lab investigates the roles of early inflammation in tissue damage and wound healing following spinal cord injury. We are also developing new three-dimensional imaging strategies to characterize spinal cord neural circuits in the intact and injured spinal cord. With the knowledge gained from these studies, we aim to develop novel neuroprotective strategies to reduce inflammatory damage and improve long-term recovery for the spinal cord injured patient.

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INFLAMMATION AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY

We employ genetic and pharmacological methods to study how immune receptors and signaling pathways alter the accumulation and activation of early arriving immune cells, predominantly neutrophils.

We have previously shown that the immune cell adhesion and signaling receptor, L-selectin, mediates neutrophil infiltration and long-term neurological deficits after spinal cord injury.  We are now investigating how L-selectin and neutrophils contribute to tissue loss in the acutely injured spinal cord.  Projects are currently available in the lab to lead new work to characterize inflammatory damage and develop neuroprotective strategies for spinal cord injury.

Image: Lightsheet image of neutrophils in the injured spinal cord.

3D TISSUE CLEARING & LIGHTSHEET IMAGING

Utilizing tissue clearing techniques and lightsheet microscopy, we can characterize neural circuits in the intact and injured spinal cord in a manner previously unachievable with traditional imaging modalities.

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We have developed techniques to effectively clear, label, and image whole spinal cords. We are currently developing a novel 3D imaging toolbox that will serve as a powerful tool for mapping neural circuits in the intact spinal cord, as well as for assessing plasticity and inflammation after spinal cord injury. Projects are currently available in the lab to lead new avenues of this research.  

Image: 3D lightsheet image of spinal interneurons (pseudo-colored by depth).