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Philip J. Horner, PhD

Professor of Neuroregeneration, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Scientific Director, Center for Neuroregeneration
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

Horner Lab - Neuroplasticity & Repair

Philip J. Horner, Ph.D., received a Ph.D. in physiology from Ohio State University in 1995. He did post-doctoral training with Dr. Fred H. Gage and became a staff scientist in the Lab of Genetics at the Salk Institute in 1998. In 2001, Dr. Horner joined the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle. He directed a laboratory at the UW South Lake Union Campus and was a member of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. In 2015, Dr. Horner became the Scientific Director of the Center for Neuroregenerative Medicine and the Co-Director, Center for Regenerative and Restorative Neurosurgery at the Houston Methodist Research Institute in Houston Texas. Dr. Horner’s research focuses on the role of glial and neural progenitor cells in the regeneration of the injured and aging nervous system.

Description of Research

The Horner lab is focused on the interaction between glial and neural cells following central nervous system challenge and specifically: 1) mechanisms of adult stem cell-derived lesion remodeling/repair and 2) role of gliogenesis and gliosis in neural degeneration. 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, the brain and spinal cord stem cells fail to replace needed circuitry. The Horner lab has been developing approaches to modify and amplify the fate of neural stem cells to increase cellular repair after spinal cord and brain injury. Together with electrical stimulation, the lab has shown that regeneration of neural circuitry offers hope for repair nervous system. Together with clinical research partners at Houston Methodist and our global partners, the Horner lab seeks to move from bench to bedside by engineering new neural circuits in people with chronic paralysis in order to restore hand function.  Neural regeneration strategies are also being applied to stroke, head injury, glaucoma and motor/cognitive decline associated with aging. 

Areas Of Expertise

Stroke Neural stem cells Myelin Optogenetics Neural trauma Regeneration Spinal cord Multiple sclerosis
Education & Training

MS, The Ohio State University
PhD, The Ohio State University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
BS, University of Nevada, Reno

Complications of epidural spinal stimulation: lessons from the past and alternatives for the future
Taccola, G, Barber, S, Horner, PJ, Bazo, HAC & Sayenko, D 2020, , Spinal Cord, vol. 58, no. 10, pp. 1049-1059.

Fabrication of homotypic neural ribbons as a multiplex platform optimized for spinal cord delivery
Olmsted, ZT, Stigliano, C, Badri, A, Zhang, F, Williams, A, Koffas, MAG, Xie, Y, Linhardt, RJ, Cibelli, J, Horner, PJ & Paluh, JL 2020, , Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, 12939.

Selective Antagonism of A1 Adenosinergic Receptors Strengthens the Neuromodulation of the Sensorimotor Network During Epidural Spinal Stimulation
Taccola, G, Salazar, BH, Apicella, R, Hogan, MK, Horner, PJ & Sayenko, D 2020, , Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, vol. 14, 44.

Polyplex transfection from intracerebroventricular delivery is not significantly affected by traumatic brain injury
Peeler, DJ, Luera, N, Horner, PJ, Pun, SH & Sellers, DL 2020, Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 322, pp. 149-156.

Engineering the ABIO-BIO interface of neurostimulation electrodes using polypyrrole and bioactive hydrogels
Bhat, A, Graham, AR, Trivedi, H, Hogan, MK, Horner, PJ & Guiseppi-Elie, A 2020, , Pure and Applied Chemistry, vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 897-907.

Formulation of thrombin-inhibiting hydrogels: Via self-assembly of ionic peptides with peptide-modified polymers
Lee, J, Zhao, T, Peeler, DJ, Lee, DC, Pichon, TJ, Li, D, Weigandt, KM, Horner, PJ, Pozzo, LD, Sellers, DL & Pun, SH 2020, Soft Matter, vol. 16, no. 15, pp. 3762-3768.

Development of a protocol to assess cell internalization and tissue uptake of magnetic nanoparticles by AC Biosusceptometry
Quini, CC, Próspero, AG, Kondiles, BR, Chaboub, L, Hogan, MK, Baffa, O, Bakuzis, AF, Horner, PJ & Miranda, JRA 2019, , Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, vol. 473, pp. 527-533.

pH-sensitive polymer micelles provide selective and potentiated lytic capacity to venom peptides for effective intracellular delivery
Peeler, DJ, Thai, SN, Cheng, Y, Horner, PJ, Sellers, DL & Pun, SH 2019, , Biomaterials, vol. 192, pp. 235-244.

Common neuromuscular effects of epidural and transcutaneous lumbar spinal stimulation
Sayenko, D, Dalm, BD, Horner, PJ & Britz, GW 2019, The Spinal Cord Injury Summit, American Spinal Injury Association’s (ASIA) Annual Scientific Meeting, , Hawaii, 2019, Waikiki, United States, 4/2/15 - 4/5/19, .

Optogenetic surface stimulation of the rat cervical spinal cord
Mondello, SE, Sunshine, MD, Fischedick, AE, Dreyer, SJ, Horwitz, GD, Anikeeva, P, Horner, PJ & Moritz, CT 2018, , Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 120, no. 2, pp. 795-811.

Neurostimulation induced medicine (nSIM) device. Minimally invasive neurostimulation device for direct electrical stimulation of vagus nerve via sympathetic ganglia to modulate brain and immune function for the alleviation of brain damage due to injury, stroke or surgical complications.
Golanov, EV, Horner, PJ, Britz, GW & Wolfe, T 2018, .

Systematic Three-Dimensional Coculture Rapidly Recapitulates Interactions between Human Neurons and Astrocytes
Krencik, R, Seo, K, van Asperen, JV, Basu, N, Cvetkovic, C, Barlas, S, Chen, R, Ludwig, C, Wang, C, Ward, ME, Gan, L, Horner, PJ, Rowitch, DH & Ullian, EM 2017, , Stem Cell Reports, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 1745-1753.

Age-related accumulation of phosphorylated mitofusin 2 protein in retinal ganglion cells correlates with glaucoma progression
Nivison, MP, Ericson, NG, Green, VM, Bielas, JH, Campbell, JS & Horner, PJ 2017, , Experimental Neurology, vol. 296, pp. 49-61.

Myelin plasticity, neural activity, and traumatic neural injury
Kondiles, BR & Horner, PJ 2018, , Developmental Neurobiology, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 108-122.

Tunable, Injectable Hydrogels Based on Peptide-Cross-Linked, Cyclized Polymer Nanoparticles for Neural Progenitor Cell Delivery
Zhao, T, Sellers, DL, Cheng, Y, Horner, PJ & Pun, SH 2017, , Biomacromolecules, vol. 18, no. 9, pp. 2723-2731.

Fabrication of multipoint side-firing optical fiber by laser micro-ablation
Nguyen, H, Arnob, MMP, Becker, AT, Wolfe, JC, Hogan, MK, Horner, PJ & Shih, WC 2017, , Optics Letters, vol. 42, no. 9, pp. 1808-1811.

Development of switchable polymers to address the dilemma of stability and cargo release in polycationic nucleic acid carriers
Cheng, Y, Sellers, DL, Tan, JKY, Peeler, DJ, Horner, PJ & Pun, SH 2017, , Biomaterials, vol. 127, pp. 89-96.

3D Printed Vascularized Device for Subcutaneous Transplantation of Human Islets
Farina, M, Ballerini, A, Fraga, DW, Nicolov, E, Hogan, M, Demarchi, D, Scaglione, F, Sabek, OM, Horner, P, Thekkedath, U, Gaber, OA & Grattoni, A 2017, , Biotechnology Journal, vol. 12, no. 9, 1700169.

Microbubbles and ultrasound increase intraventricular polyplex gene transfer to the brain
Tan, JKY, Pham, B, Zong, Y, Perez, C, Maris, DO, Hemphill, A, Miao, CH, Matula, TJ, Mourad, PD, Wei, H, Sellers, DL, Horner, PJ & Pun, SH 2016, , Journal of Controlled Release, vol. 231, pp. 86-93.

Targeted axonal import (TAxI) peptide delivers functional proteins into spinal cord motor neurons after peripheral administration
Sellers, DL, Bergen, JM, Johnson, RN, Back, H, Ravits, JM, Horner, PJ & Pun, SH 2016, , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 113, no. 9, pp. 2514-2519.