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The University of Mississippi

Pharmacy Professor Awarded Grant to Study Neuroregeneration

Posted on: May 1st, 2020 by pmsmith

May 1, 2020

OXFORD, Miss. – Vitor Pomin, a professor in the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has received a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to investigate the molecular details and potential active compounds in the process of neuroregeneration.

Pomin, assistant professor of pharmacognosy, will seek to better understand the biochemical mechanisms that limit the ability of the nervous system to recover after damage.

Vitor Pomin

Vitor Pomin

“We are investigating ways to downregulate the inhibitory factors found in the neuroregeneration process,” Pomin said. “Our research comprises the application of multiple isolated mammalian and marine-derived glycans of defined chemical structures in cultures of neurons.

“This scientific strategy should not only allow us to understand the structural features of neurologically active carbohydrates in the brain, but also provide a rationale to develop a potential molecule to stimulate neuroplasticity.”

Pomin is working in collaboration with Department of BioMolecular Sciences faculty members Nicole Ashpole, assistant professor of pharmacology, and Joshua Sharp, associate professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biology.

This collaborative effort could help to open new avenues for treating brain and spinal injuries, the research partners said.

“This work really represents the starting point for a new approach toward understanding some of the molecular mechanisms behind growth regulation at sites of brain and spinal injury,” Sharp said. “If this works, I expect it will launch new lines of investigation about how we could possibly treat these injuries.”

“Our collaborative team is able to unite our strengths in neuroscience with our ability to determine the molecular structure of important biomolecules found in nature,” Ashpole said. “In doing so, we end up learning about how the body works while also identifying potential new treatments for injury.”

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, under Award No. 1 R03 NS110996-01A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.