Dáire Rowlands


The extracelluar matrix (ECM) of the adult brain tightly regulates plasticity (the ability for neurons to make new synaptic contacts). The ECM does this in a number of ways, eg harbouring axon guidence cues and stabilising existing synapses. Degrading the ECM enhances cogntion and promotes functional recovery after injury.

In my research I have 3 main themes:

1) Examining the effects of degrading the ECM in the cortex in disease models which have an associated memory loss such as Alzheimer's disease.

2) Characterising the transcriptome changes related to the ECM reorganisation folloing nerve injury, with the aim of identifying future theraputic targets to a range of disorders.

3) Working as part of a larger group to develop a central nervous system specific knockout of aggrecan, a key ECM molecule. Creating this model will help us establish the role of the ECM in behaviour and physiological plasticity.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my research.

Perineuronal nets of the mouse cortical extracellular matrix (click below to enlarge ;) )
View image full-size (1392x1040 pixels)

Research Focus


RNA Sequencing



Cognitive Behavioural Testing


Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Neuoregeneration, Nerve axotomy


Confocal Microscopy


Laser Capture Microdissection

Neurosurgical Techniques

Polymerase Chain Reaction

Protein purification

Protein Purification and Western Blotting

RNA Sequencing and Analysis

Transgenic Animal Strain Maintainence and Genotyping



Brian Lam

Marcella Ma

United Kingdom

Melissa Andrews Web: https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/portal/...


Daniela Caruilli Web: http://www.nico.ottolenghi.unito.it/index.p...

Gunnar Dick Web: http://www.mn.uio.no/ibv/eng...

Associated News Items



    Rowlands D, Sugahara K, Kwok JC (2015), “Glycosaminoglycans and glycomimetics in the central nervous system.” Molecules