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Dr Jessica Kwok

Dr Kwok is an Associate Professor at the University of Leeds (UK), She also holds a visiting scientist position at the Institute of Experimental Medicine Czech Academy of Science in Prague (Czech Republic). 

Dr Kwok was trained as a neuro/glyco - scientist. Her research focuses on modulating the extracellular matrix environment in the central nervous system to enhance plasticity and regeneration after lesion in the central nervous system, Her work in the last ten years has played the key role in the discovery of the structure of perineuronal nets (PNNS), establishing the mechanism of PNN formation and working out how molecules bind to the PNN to exert effects on plasticity. The work has led to the current widely accepted concept that PNNs are crucial in controlling CNS plasticity.

Dr Kwok's Most Cited Work

Carulli D, Pizzorusso T, Kwok JCF, Putignano E, Poli P, Forostyak S, Andrews MR, Deepa SS, Glant TT, Fawcett JW - Animals lacking link protein have attenuated perineuronal nets and persistent plasticity. Brain 133, 2331-47. (466 citations) (2010) 

Kwok JCF, Carulli D, Fawcett JW - In vitro moedling of perineuronal nets: the role of cartilage link protein and hyaluronan synthase in its formation and integrity. J Neurochem114, 1447-59 (161 citations) (2010)

Dick G, Tan CT, Alves JN, Ehlert EME, Miller GM, Hsieh-Wilson LC, Sugahara K, Oosterhof A, Van Kuppevelt TH, Verhaagen J, Fawcett JW and Kwok JCF - Semaphorin 3A binds to the perineuronal nets via chondroitin sulfate type E motifs in rodent brains. J Biol Chem288(38), 27384-395 (131 citations) (2013)

Vo T, Carulli D, Ehlert EME, Kwok JCF, Ducj G, Mecollari V, Moloney EB, Neufeld G, de Winter F, Fawcett JW, Verhaagen J - The chemorepulsive axon guidance protein semaphorin 3A is a constituent of perineuronal nets in the adult rodent brain. Mol Cell Neurosci56C, 186-200 (126 citations) (2013)

Lin R, Rosahl TW, WHiting PJ, Fawcett JW, Kwok JCF - 6-Sulphated chondroitins have a positive influence on axonal regeneration. PLos One 6(7): e21499 (124 citations) (2011)

Foscarin S, Fawcett JW, Kwok JCF - Brain ageing changes proteoglycan sulphation, rendering perineuronal nets more inhibitory. Aging-US 9(6), 1607-1622 (83 citations) (2017)

Other Contributions to Spinal Cord Injury Research

Vargova I, Kriska J, Kwok JCF, Fawcett JW, Jendelova P - Long-term Cultures of Spinal Cord Interneurons. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (2022). 16

Krupa P, Stepankova K, Kwok JCF, Fawcett JW, Cimermanova V, Jendelova P, Urdzikova LM - Model of Ventral Spinal Cord Lesion Induced by Balloon Compression in Rats. Biomedicines (2020)

Warren PM, Kissane RWP, Egginton S, Kwok JCF, Askew Gn - Oxygen transport kinetics under rapid and robust diaphragm recovery following chronic spinal cord injury. Journal of Physiology (2020)

Richter RP, Baranova NS, Day AJ, Kwok JCF - Glycosaminoglycans in extracellular matrix organisation: are concepts from soft matter physics key to understanding the formation of perineuronal nets. Current Opinion in Structural Biology (2018). 50, pg 65-74

Irvine SF, Kwok JCF - Perineuronal Nets in Spinal Motoneurones: Chrondroitin Sulphate Proteoglycan around Alpha Motoneurones. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2018). 19

Sorg BA, Berretta S, Blacktop JM, Fawcett JW, Kitagawa H, Kwok JCF, Miquel M - Casting a Wide Net:role of Perineuronal Nets in Neural Plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience (2016). 36(45),pg 11459-11468

Carulli D, Kwok JCF, Pizzorusso T - Perineuronal Nets and CNS Plasticity and Repair. Neural Plasticity (2016)

Kwok JCF, Heller JP, Zhao RR, Fawcett JW - Targeting inhibatory chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans to promote plasticity after injury. Methods Mol Biol (2014). 1162, pg 127-138

Kwok JCF, Warren P, Fawcett JW - Chrondroitin sulfate: A key Molecule in the brain matrix. International Journal of Bichemistry and Cell Biology (2012). 44(4), pg 582-586

Zhao RR, MUir Em, Alves JN, Rickman H, Allan Ay, Kwok JCF, Roet KC, Verhaagen J, Schneider BL, Bensadoun Jc, Ahmed SG, Yáñez-Muñoz RJ, Keynes RJ, Fawcett JW, Rogers JH - Lentiviral vectors express chondroitinase ABC in cortical projections and promote sprouting of injured corticospinal axons. Neurosci Methods (2011). 201(1), pg 228-238

Galtrey Cm, Kwok JCF, Carulli D, Rhodes KE, Fawcett JW - Distribution and synthesis of extracellular matric proteoglycans, hyaluronan, link proteins and tenascin-R in the rat spinal cord. Eur J Neurosci (2008). 27(6), pg 1373-1390

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