Dr Geoffrey Cook


My research concerns the mechanisms controlling axon growth.

In the laboratory we are investigating two axon-repulsive systems, 1) the characterization of somite glycoproteins that repel axons, creating the segmented pattern of spinal nerves during development and 2) a repulsive glycoprotein in the grey matter of the adult brain that may contribute to CNS regenerative failure.

Research Focus


axon guidance

growth cones



Clinical conditions

Traumatic brain injury


Protein purification and characterization



Roger Keynes

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Manns RP, Cook GM, Holt CE, Keynes RJ (2012), “Differing semaphorin 3A concentrations trigger distinct signaling mechanisms in growth cone collapse.” J Neurosci 32(25):8554-9 Details

    Keynes R, Tannahill D, Morgenstern DA, Johnson AR, Cook GM, Pini A (1997), “Surround repulsion of spinal sensory axons in higher vertebrate embryos.” Neuron 18(6):889-97 Details

    Davies JA, Cook GM, Stern CD, Keynes RJ (1990), “Isolation from chick somites of a glycoprotein fraction that causes collapse of dorsal root ganglion growth cones.” Neuron 4(1):11-20 Details



    Manns R, Schmandke A, Schmandke A, Jareonsettasin P, Cook G, Schwab ME, Holt C, Keynes R (2014), “Protein synthesis dependence of growth cone collapse induced by different nogo-a-domains.” PLoS One 9(1):e86820 Details


    Cook,G Fawcett,J Keynes R Tessier-Laigne M (2006), “The Regenerating Brain” Phil Trans B 361 pp1459-1671


    Kuan CY, Tannahill D, Cook GM, Keynes RJ (2004), “Somite polarity and segmental patterning of the peripheral nervous system.” Mech Dev 121(9):1055-68 Details


    Tannahill D, Britto JM, Vermeren MM, Ohta K, Cook GM, Keynes RJ (2000), “Orienting axon growth: spinal nerve segmentation and surround-repulsion.” Int J Dev Biol 44(1):119-27 Details

    Vermeren MM, Cook GM, Johnson AR, Keynes RJ, Tannahill D (2000), “Spinal nerve segmentation in the chick embryo: analysis of distinct axon-repulsive systems.” Dev Biol 225(1):241-52 Details


    Ohta K, Tannahill D, Yoshida K, Johnson AR, Cook GM, Keynes RJ (1999), “Embryonic lens repels retinal ganglion cell axons.” Dev Biol 211(1):124-32 Details


    Tannahill D, Cook GMW, Keynes RJ (1998), “Axon guidance and somites” Cell Tissue Res 291(2):363 Details


    Tannahill D, Cook GM, Keynes RJ (1997), “Axon guidance and somites.” Cell Tissue Res 290(2):275-83 Details


    Keynes R, Cook GM (1996), “Axons turn as netrins find their receptor.” Neuron 17(6):1031-4 Details


    Cook GM (1995), “Glycobiology of the cell surface: the emergence of sugars as an important feature of the cell periphery.” Glycobiology 5(5):449-58 Details

    Keynes R, Cook GM (1995), “Axon guidance molecules.” Cell 83(2):161-9 Details


    Cook GM (1994), “Recognising the attraction of sugars at the cell surface.” Bioessays 16(4):287-95 Details


    Keynes RJ, Cook GM (1992), “Contact inhibition of growth-cone motility during peripheral nerve segmentation.” Biochem Soc Trans 20(2):399-401 Details

    Keynes RJ, Cook GM (1992), “Repellent cues in axon guidance.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 2(1):55-9 Details

    McClure MO, Moore JP, Blanc DF, Scotting P, Cook GM, Keynes RJ, Weber JN, Davies D, Weiss RA (1992), “Investigations into the mechanism by which sulfated polysaccharides inhibit HIV infection in vitro.” AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 8(1):19-26 Details


    Davies JA, Cook GM (1991), “Growth cone inhibition--an important mechanism in neural development?” Bioessays 13(1):11-5 Details

    Keynes RJ, Jaques KF, Cook GM (1991), “Axon repulsion during peripheral nerve segmentation.” Development Suppl 2:131-9 Details

    Keynes RJ, Johnson AR, Picart CJ, Dunin-Borkowski OM, Cook GM (1991), “A growth cone collapsing activity in chicken gray matter.” Ann N Y Acad Sci 633:562 Details


    Cook GM, Buckie JW (1990), “Lectin-mediated isolation of cell surface glycoproteins.” Methods Enzymol 184:304-14 Details

    Keynes R, Cook G (1990), “Cell-cell repulsion: clues from the growth cone?” Cell 62(4):609-10 Details

    Keynes R, Cook G, Davies J, Lumsden A, Norris W, Stern C (1990), “Segmentation and the development of the vertebrate nervous system.” J Physiol (Paris) 84(1):27-32 Details


    Buckie JW, Cook GM (1988), “Use of biotinylated lectins and immobilized streptavidin for the specific isolation of surface glycoconjugates.” Prog Clin Biol Res 270:243-5 Details


    Buckie JW, Cook GM (1986), “Specific isolation of surface glycoproteins from intact cells by biotinylated concanavalin A and immobilized streptavidin.” Anal Biochem 156(2):463-72 Details

    Cook GM (1986), “Cell surface carbohydrates: molecules in search of a function?” J Cell Sci Suppl 4:45-70 Details


    Cook GM, Bellairs R, Rutherford NG, Stafford CA, Alderson T (1985), “Isolation, characterization and localization of a lectin within the vitelline membrane of the hen's egg.” J Embryol Exp Morphol 90:389-407 Details


    Rutherford NG, Cook GM (1984), “Endogenous lectins of the developing chick embryo.” Prog Clin Biol Res 151:129-46 Details