Jo Anne Stratton, PhD
Jo Anne Stratton’s research interests are inspired by the complex and context-dependent interactions of immune cells within the nervous system which function to modulate repair and plasticity, but can also underlie pathologies such as demyelination and axonal degeneration leading to cognitive impairment and sensory/motor deficits. Her research platform spans basic in vitro cell culture interrogation of cellular interactions, to transgenic animal models which recapitulate responses to different injuries and diseases, to human cellular and histological analyses.
In particular, Stratton studies the function of one largely understudied, specialized glia cell in the central nervous system: the ependymal cell, to explore its role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and neurodegeneration. Ependymal cells are multiciliated cells that form the brain’s ventricular epithelium and provide a niche for neural stem cells (NSCs) in the ventricular subventricular zone (V-SVZ) but have been difficult to study due to a lack of transgenic labelling techniques that can effectively distinguish ependymal cells from neighboring NSCs. This problem also makes it difficult to study their direct interactions with and response to the immune system under homeostatic and injured or diseased states.A key component of the Stratton Lab is to develop and implement state-of-the-art techniques for assessing the role of ependymal cells in disease and inflammation.
Dr Stratton is also involved with creating awareness about disability and disease, and how groundbreaking advancements in research technology is quickly shaping our future.