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Professor Robin Franklin

Professor Robin Franklin

Professor of Stem Cell Medicine

Robin Franklin is interested in taking PhD students.

Robin Franklin is available for consultancy.

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337642


Professor Franklin is now at the Wellcome Trust - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

Between 2005 and 2014 he was Research Director in the Department of Veterinary Medicine.

Subject groups/Research projects


Research Interests

The Franklin lab investigates the mechanisms of CNS regeneration with a particular focus on remyelination, an adult stem/precursor cell-mediated process in which new myelin sheaths are restored to demyelinated axons. Using a range of cellular and molecular techniques both in vitro and in vivo we are examining extrinsic (environmental) and intrinsic (transcriptional/epigenetic) factors that govern the differentiation of adult neural stem/precursor cells into oligodendrocytes and other glia following CNS injury.

Robin Franklin is director of the neural stem cell theme in the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and is Director of the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair.

Main Collaborators

Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, University of Edinburgh

Prof Siddharthan Chandran, University of Edinburgh

Professor Kevin Brindle, University of Cambridge

Dr Mark Kotter, University of Cambridge

Catherine Lubetzki, ICM, Paris

 Amy Wagers, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, USA

 David Rowitch, USCF, USA

 Kevin Chalut, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Ben Simons, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Patrizia Casaccia, Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC, USA


  • Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs)
  • Myelination
  • Stem cells

Key Publications

Syed YA, Baer A, Hofer MP, Gonzalez GA, Rundle J, Myrta S, Huang JK, Zhao C, Rossner MJ, Trotter MWB, Lubec G, Franklin RJM*, Kotter MR* (2013) Inhibition of phosphodiesterase4 promotes oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation and enhances CNS remyelination. EMBO Molecular Medicine. In press. (* joint senior authors)

Stacpoole SRL, Spitzer S, Bilican B, Compston A, Karadottir R, Chandran S, Franklin RJM (2013) High yields of oligodendrocyte lineage cells from human embryonic stem cells at physiological oxygen tensions for evaluation of translational biology. Stem Cell Reports. Epub. 

Lundgaard I,  Luzhynskaya A, Stockley JH, Wang Z, Evans K, Swire M, Volbracht K, Gautier H, Franklin RJM, ffrench-Constant C, Attwell D, Káradóttir R (2013) Neuregulin and BDNF induce a switch to NMDA receptor dependent myelination by oligodendrocytes. PLoS Biology. In press

Yuen TJ, Johnson KR, MironVE, ZhaoC, QuandtJ, HarrisinghMCMcFarlandHF, FranklinRJM*, ffrench-ConstantC* (2013) Identification of endothelin-2 as an inflammatory factor that promotes CNS remyelination. Brain 136: 1035-1047. (* joint corresponding authors)

Franklin RJM, Bussey TJ (2013) Do your glia make you clever? Cell Stem Cell 12: 265-266.

Miron VE, Boyd A, Zhao J-W, YuenTJ, Ruckh JM, Shadrach JL, Wagers AJ, Williams A, Franklin RJM*, ffrench-Constant C* (2013) M1 to M2 polarization switch in microglia/ macrophages drives oligodendrocyte differentiation during CNS remyelination. Nature Neuroscience 16: 1211-1218 (* joint senior authors)

Ruckh JM, Zhao JW, ShadrachJL, van WijngaardenP, Rao TN, WagersAJ, Franklin RJM (2012) Rejuvenation of regeneration in the aging central nervous system. Cell Stem Cell 10: 96-103.

Chong SYC, Rosenberg SS, Fancy SPJ, Zhao C, Shen YA, Hahn AT, McGee AW, Xu X, Zheng B, Zhang LI, Rowitch DH, Franklin RJM, Lu QR, Chan JR (2012) Nogo-A establishes spatial segregation and extent of oligodendrocyte myelination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 109: 1299-1304.

Franklin RJM, ffrench-Constant C, Edgar J, Smith K (2012) Neuroprotection and repair in multiple sclerosis. Nature Reviews Neurology 8: 623-634.

Granger N, Blamires H, Franklin RJM, Jeffery ND (2012) Autologous olfactory mucosal cell transplants in clinical spinal cord injury: a randomized, double-blinded trial in a canine translational model. Brain 135: 3227-3237.

 Fancy SPJ, Harington EP, Yuen TJ, Silbereis JC, Zhao C, Baranzini SE, Bruce CE, Otero JJ, Huang EC, Nusse R, Franklin RJM, Rowitch RH (in press), “Axin2 as regulatory and therapeutic target in newborn brain injury and remyelination” Nature Neuroscience 14: 1009-1016

Huang JK, Jarjour AA, Nait Oumesmar B, Kerninon C, Williams A, Krezel W, Kagechika H, Bauer J, Zhao C, Baron-Van Evercooren A, Chambon P, ffrench- Constant C, Franklin RJM (2011), “Retinoid X receptor gamma signaling accelerates CNS remyelination” Nature Neurosci 14: 45-53

Zawadzka M, Rivers LE, Fancy SPJ, Zhao C, Tripathi R, Jamen F, Young K, Goncharevich A, Pohl H, Rizzi M, Rowitch DH, Kessaris N, Suter U, Richardosn WD, Franklin RJM (2010), “CNS-resident glial progenitor/stem cells prodcude Schwann cells as well as oligodendrocytes during repair of CNS demyelination” Cell Stem Cell 6: 578-590

Fancy SP, Baranzini SE, Zhao C, Yuk DI, Irvine KA, Kaing S, Sanai N, Franklin RJ, Rowitch DH (2009), “Dysregulation of the Wnt pathway inhibits timely myelination and remyelination in the mammalian CNS.” Genes Dev 23(13):1571-85 Details

Franklin RJM, ffrench-Constant C (2008), “Remyelination in the CNS: from biology to therapy” Nature Rev Neurosci 9(11): 839-55

Shen S, Sandoval J, Swiss V, Li J, Dupree J, Franklin RJM, Casaccia-Bonnefil P (2008), “Age-dependent epigenetic control of differentiation inhibitors: a critical determinant of remyelination efficiency” Nature Neurosci 11: 1024-1034.

Arnett HA, Fancy SPJ, Alberta JA, Zhao C, Plant SR, Som S, Raine CS, Rowitch D, Franklin RJM, Stiles CD (2004), “The bHLH transcription factor Olig1 is required for repair of demyelinated lesions in the CNS” Science 306:2111-2115