Dr. Horner's team at the Center for Neuroregeneration is focused on elucidating the interaction between glial and neural cells following central nervous system injury, during normal aging and in degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.  Laboratory research studies here delve into
1) Mechanisms of adult stem cell‐derived lesion remodeling/repair and
2) Role of gliogenesis and gliosis in neural degeneration and aging 

Over the past decades, researchers have observed that the human brain and spinal cord retain a population of stem cells with the capacity to replace neurons and glia. However, during normal aging and following trauma or disease, this remarkable reserve of brain and spinal cord stem cells fail to repopulate or significantly replace lost circuitry. We have been developing approaches to modify and amplify the fate of neural stem cells within the nervous system to increase cellular repair.  We are also investigating and creating new techniques to drive the connections of nerve cells by electrical stimulation or by modification of the insulation or myelin content of nerve pathways.

With clinical research partners at Houston Methodist and our global partners, we direct a major effort to move from bench to bedside by engineering new neural circuits in people with chronic paralysis for the restoration hand function.  Neural regeneration strategies are also being applied to stroke, head injury, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and motor/cognitive decline associated with aging.