Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Project 1: For the first time, we will define a new role for a drug in enhancing brain repair during MS-like disease, used previously to treat people living with inherited neurological conditions. (i) We will identify how MS-like progressive symptoms can be limited by administering a drug that can reach the brain. We will specifically define the benefit this drug has in protecting cells from dying during MS-like disease. (ii) We will assess the feasibility of this drug that can readily enter the brain to exert repair by generating new cells and protecting nerve fibres. We will correlate this with clinically relevant parameters to assess the limitation of brain damage with the use of this drug. If this project is successful, and in particular, the drug is shown to be safe and efficacious in repairing the damaged brain, then the fact that it has already been tested in clinical phase trials means that a drug company can immediately trial the drug in MS patient groups that are not responding to other therapies. Therefore, this project will provide the proof-of-principle studies necessary for the drug to enter clinical phase trials in MS patients.Project 2: This will be the first study to utilise and validate genetically modified haematopoietic stem cells as the therapeutic delivery system to minimise and reverse the impact of MS progression. The research strategy uses a novel means to deliver a biological reparative agent directly to neuroinflammatory lesions, where neurodegenerative disease can propagate. Given that clinical studies using autologous bone marrow or haematopoietic stem cells of individuals have demonstrated improvement in the outcomes of MS, our novel technological advance of using these cells to deliver treatments for nervous system repair are timely and innovative. Delivering biological agents directly to areas where the disease is active will be investigated in this project to specifically limit the damage that can cause disability. Moreover, future therapeutic development of this technology may benefit individuals living with progressive MS through attenuating the extracellular disease milieu to favour repair in the adult CNS.


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Steven Petratos has received his PhD in Neuropathology from the University of Melbourne during 1993-1999. He is a Senior Lecturer of Pathology in the Department of Medicine, Central Clinical School at Monash University, Australia.

As a neurobiologist, his research goals are to define the molecular mechanisms that govern neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis. Based on this research and training in Neuropathology Steven has received several awards and honours, including:

1. Commonwealth AIDS Research Grants (CARG) Postgraduate Scholarship 1993-1996.
2. Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2004
3. Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Senior Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2005

Related Links:

Research area keywords

  • stem cell therapies
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • brain disorders
  • Drug Development

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Research Output

Limiting neuronal nogo receptor 1 signaling during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis preserves axonal transport and abrogates inflammatory demyelination

Lee, J. Y., Kim, M. J., Thomas, S., Oorschot, V., Ramm, G., Aui, P. M., Sekine, Y., Deliyanti, D., Wilkinson-Berka, J., Niego, B., Harvey, A. R., Theotokis, P., McLean, C., Strittmatter, S. M. & Petratos, S., 10 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Neuroscience. 39, 28, p. 5562-5580 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Oligodendroglial lineage cells in thyroid hormone-deprived conditions

Kim, M. J. & Petratos, S., 1 Jan 2019, In : Stem Cells International. 2019, 13 p., 5496891.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)

Amyloid-beta-dependent phosphorylation of collapsin response mediator protein-2 dissociates kinesin in Alzheimer's disease

Mokhtar, S. H., Kim, M. J., Magee, K. A., Aui, P. M., Thomas, S., Bakhuraysah, M. M., Alrehaili, A. A., Lee, J. Y., Steer, D. L., Kenny, R., McLean, C., Azari, M. F., Birpanagos, A., Lipiec, E., Heraud, P., Wood, B. & Petratos, S., 19 Jun 2018, In : Neural Regeneration Research. 13, 6, p. 1066-1080 15 p., 29926835.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
6 Citations (Scopus)

Nogo receptor expression in microglia/macrophages during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis progression

Alrehaili, A. A., Lee, J., Bakhuraysah, M. M., Kim, M. J., Aui, P. M., Magee, K. A. & Petratos, S., 1 May 2018, In : Neural Regeneration Research. 13, 5, p. 896-907 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Blocked, delayed, or obstructed: What causes poor white matter development in intrauterine growth restricted infants?

Tolcos, M., Petratos, S., Hirst, J. J., Wong, F., Spencer, S. J., Azhan, A., Emery, B. & Walker, D. W., 1 Jul 2017, In : Progress in Neurobiology. 154, p. 62-77 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)