Stephen Davies


1993 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Research Goal

There are millions of people around the world with disabilities resulting from traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).  Through gaining a better understanding of the molecular and cell biology of the injured spinal cord, the primary goal of our research group is to develop novel, clinically relevant cellular technologies for promoting recovery of neurological function in patients with acute and chronic spinal cord injuries.

Research Overview

Regulating scar formation and promoting axonal and synaptic plasticity of surviving circuits are now recognized as rational treatment strategies for traumatic spinal cord injury.  Pre-clinical studies from our group have shown that direct infusion a small leucine-rich proteoglycan called Decorin into acute spinal cord or brain injuries can suppress inflammation and multiple aspects of scar formation, including levels of multiple axon growth inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) and Semaphorin 3A, rendering sites of injury more permissive for axon growth.

Additionally, treatment with human-recombinant Decorin core protein (hrDecorin) also suppressed the sensitivity of adult sensory neurons to multiple axon growth inhibitory CSPGs and myelin associated molecules in vitro. These results provided the rationale for our current research focus on exploring the potential of hrDecorin to promote axon regeneration and plasticity of surviving circuits in pre-clinical models of sub-acute and long-term chronic SCI.  As astrocytes are known to play a key role in regulating synaptic plasticity within the central nervous system, our group is also investigating whether Decorin can promote expression and secretion of known regulators of synaptogenesis by astrocytes in the brain and spinal cord after SCI.

Research area keywords

  • Spinal cord injury, Neurotrauma, Neuro-Plasticity, Axon Regeneration, Glial Biology, Inflammation, Glial Scar ECM, Translational Neuroscience


Research Output

Combined transplantation of GDAsBMP and hr-decorin in spinal cord contusion repair

Wu, L., Li, J. J., Chen, L., Zhang, H., Yuan, L. & Davies, S. J. A., Aug 2013, In : Neural Regeneration Research. 8, 24, p. 2236-2248 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)

Multiplex array proteomics detects increased MMP-8 in CSF after spinal cord injury

Light, M., Minor, K. H., DeWitt, P., Jasper, K. H. & Davies, S. J. A., 11 Jun 2012, In : Journal of Neuroinflammation. 9, 10 p., 122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
20 Citations (Scopus)

Cell therapies for the central nervous system: How do we identify the best candidates?

Noble, M., Mayer-Pröschel, M., Davies, J. E., Davies, S. J. A. & Pröschel, C., Dec 2011, In : Current Opinion in Neurology. 24, 6, p. 570-576 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Decorin, erythroblastic leukaemia viral oncogene homologue B4 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 regulation of semaphorin 3A in central nervous system scar tissue

Minor, K. H., Bournat, J. C., Toscano, N., Giger, R. J. & Davies, S. J. A., Apr 2011, In : Brain. 134, 4, p. 1140-1155 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
30 Citations (Scopus)

Precursor Cell Biology and the Development of Astrocyte Transplantation Therapies: Lessons from Spinal Cord Injury

Noble, M., Davies, J. E., Mayer-Pröschel, M., Pröschel, C. & Davies, S. J. A., Oct 2011, In : Neurotherapeutics. 8, 4, p. 677-693 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
27 Citations (Scopus)