Dr Melissa Andrews


My research focuses on assessing the localization and transport of ectopically expressed integrins in adult CNS, in order to better target integrins to sites of injury for therapeutic treatment. We have shown that enhancing the regeneration of dorsal root axons by overexpression of alpha9 integrin, which is downregulated in adulthood, and after injury, is successful in promoting dorsal root ganglion neuron regeneration in culture and in vivo in the presence of inhibitory extracellular matrix substrate tenascin-C, although in vivo regeneration results have been modest. Currently we are investigating the differences between the ability of integrins to transport in adult CNS versus regenerative areas of the nervous system (neonatal CNS and adult PNS).

Research Focus




gene therapy

growth cone

Clinical conditions

Neuronal repair and regeneration

Spinal cord injury

Traumatic brain injury

Traumatic Brain Injury


Animal Surgery

Behavioural analysis

Cell culture

Fluorescence microscopy




James Fawcett

United Kingdom

Ronaldo Ichiyama

Associated News Items



    Alves JN, Muir EM, Andrews MR, Ward A, Michelmore N, Dasgupta D, Verhaagen J, Moloney EB, Keynes RJ, Fawcett JW, Rogers JH (2014), “AAV vector-mediated secretion of chondroitinase provides a sensitive tracer for axonal arborisations.” J Neurosci Methods 227:107-20 Details

    Kappagantula S, Andrews MR, Cheah M, Abad-Rodriguez J, Dotti CG, Fawcett JW (2014), “Neu3 sialidase-mediated ganglioside conversion is necessary for axon regeneration and is blocked in CNS axons.” J Neurosci 34(7):2477-92 Details


    Mellone M, Kestoras D, Andrews MR, Dassie E, Crowther RA, Stokin GB, Tinsley J, Horne G, Goedert M, Tolkovsky AM, Spillantini MG (2013), “Tau pathology is present in vivo and develops in vitro in sensory neurons from human P301S tau transgenic mice: a system for screening drugs against tauopathies.” J Neurosci 33(46):18175-89 Details

    Romberg C, Yang S, Melani R, Andrews MR, Horner AE, Spillantini MG, Bussey TJ, Fawcett JW, Pizzorusso T, Saksida LM (2013), “Depletion of perineuronal nets enhances recognition memory and long-term depression in the perirhinal cortex.” J Neurosci 33(16):7057-65 Details

    Zhao RR, Andrews MR, Wang D, Warren P, Gullo M, Schnell L, Schwab ME, Fawcett JW (2013), “Combination treatment with anti-Nogo-A and chondroitinase ABC is more effective than single treatments at enhancing functional recovery after spinal cord injury.” Eur J Neurosci 38(6):2946-61 Details


    Chew DJ, Fawcett JW, Andrews MR (2012), “The challenges of long-distance axon regeneration in the injured CNS.” Prog Brain Res 201:253-94 Details

    Dassie E, Andrews MR, Bensadoun JC, Cacquevel M, Schneider BL, Aebischer P, Wouters FS, Richardson JC, Hussain I, Howlett DR, Spillantini MG, Fawcett JW (2012), “Focal expression of adeno-associated viral-mutant tau induces widespread impairment in an APP mouse model.” Neurobiol Aging Details

    Eva R, Andrews MR, Franssen EH, Fawcett JW (2012), “Intrinsic mechanisms regulating axon regeneration: an integrin perspective.” Int Rev Neurobiol 106:75-104 Details

    Tan CL, Andrews MR, Kwok JC, Heintz TG, Gumy LF, Fässler R, Fawcett JW (2012), “Kindlin-1 enhances axon growth on inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans and promotes sensory axon regeneration.” J Neurosci 32(21):7325-35 Details


    Wang D, Ichiyama RM, Zhao R, Andrews MR, Fawcett JW (2011), “Chondroitinase combined with rehabilitation promotes recovery of forelimb function in rats with chronic spinal cord injury.” J Neurosci 31(25):9332-44 Details


    Afshari FT, Kwok JC, Andrews MR, Blits B, Martin KR, Faissner A, Ffrench-Constant C, Fawcett JW (2010), “Integrin activation or alpha 9 expression allows retinal pigmented epithelial cell adhesion on Bruch's membrane in wet age-related macular degeneration.” Brain 133(Pt 2):448-64 Details

    Carulli D, Pizzorusso T, Kwok JC, Putignano E, Poli A, Forostyak S, Andrews MR, Deepa SS, Glant TT, Fawcett JW (2010), “Animals lacking link protein have attenuated perineuronal nets and persistent plasticity.” Brain 133(Pt 8):2331-47 Details

    Dobbertin A, Czvitkovich S, Theocharidis U, Garwood J, Andrews MR, Properzi F, Lin R, Fawcett JW, Faissner A (2010), “Analysis of combinatorial variability reveals selective accumulation of the fibronectin type III domains B and D of tenascin-C in injured brain.” Exp Neurol 225(1):60-73 Details


    Andrews MR, Czvitkovich S, Dassie E, Vogelaar CF, Faissner A, Blits B, Gage FH, ffrench-Constant C, Fawcett JW (2009), “Alpha9 integrin promotes neurite outgrowth on tenascin-C and enhances sensory axon regeneration.” J Neurosci 29(17):5546-57 Details


    Andrews MR, Stelzner DJ (2007), “Evaluation of olfactory ensheathing and schwann cells after implantation into a dorsal injury of adult rat spinal cord.” J Neurotrauma 24(11):1773-92 Details


    Andrews MR, Stelzner DJ (2004), “Modification of the regenerative response of dorsal column axons by olfactory ensheathing cells or peripheral axotomy in adult rat.” Exp Neurol 190(2):311-27 Details