Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the nervous system by chewing up the axons that connect neurons to one another, which slows, stops or simply randomizes the transmission of nerve impulses. At the Centre for clinical brain sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Siddharthan Chandran works in the emerging discipline of regenerative neurology -- exploring how injured or damaged neurons in the brain might actually be repaired.
His research strategy uses MS and motor neuron disease (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) as primary disease models, combining laboratory and clinical activity to study brain injury, neurodegeneration and repair, using stem cells to model and test. His work, he says, "reflects the complexity of the brain. You can replace a kidney, but not a brain. One must remain careful and humble in the face of current knowledge." He is also director of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic.