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The Fischer Lab

Research Interests

My research interest is now focused on the biology of neural stem cells (NSC) and their application in restoring connectivity and recovery of function after spinal cord injury. The lab has an history of research in identifying the best strategies for cellular transplantation and in the application of gene therapy methods to introduce therapeutic genes into the injured spinal cord. In the past, we worked with bone marrow stromal cells and genetically modified fibroblasts, but now we use mostly neural stem cells and progenitors (Neuronal-glial) from rodent and human. I am a member of the spinal cord research group.

Project 1 - Transplantation of neural stem cells to reconnect the injured spinal cord (with Dr. Lane).

Project 2 - Spinal Cord Concussion: studying the potential risks of repetitive injury (with Dr. Raghupathi).

Project 3 - Examining the properties and therapeutic potential of glial restricted precursors in spinal cord injury.

Project 4 - Axonal mRNA localization and local protein synthesis in neural progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo in relation to axonal growth and regeneration (with Dr. Twiss).

Project 5 - Regeneration and functional recovery in chronic spinal cord injury.

Project 6 - Developing multifunctional scaffold for treatments of spinal cord injury (with Dr. Galie).

Biography

Education

1970 - BS in Chemistry from Israel Institute of Technology; Haifa, Israel
1976 - MS in Biology from Israel Institute of Technology; Haifa, Israel
1981 - PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from University of California, Irvine
1983 - MS in Computer Science from University of California, Irvine

Positions

1983-1986 - Postdoctoral Fellowship; Department of Biological Chemistry, Harvard
1986-1988 - Assistant Biochemist; E.K. Shriver Center; Boston, MA
1989-1991 - Assistant Professor; Depart. of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Boston, MA
1991-1995 - Associate Professor; Medical College of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA
1995-1999 - Professor; Medical College of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, PA
1999-Present - Chair, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy; Drexel University College of Medicine; Philadelphia, PA

Lab Personnel

Ying Jin, PhD - Research Assistant Professor - View Profile

Tim Himes, PhD – Instructor - View Profile

Theresa Connors - Instructor

Maryla Obrocka - Research Assistant III

Julien Bouyer – Research Assistant III

Past Students since 2000:

Steve Han, MD/PhD program. Neurobiology and Anatomy, MCP Hahnemann U, 1998-2003.
Project: Characterization of neural stem cells.

Angelo Lepore, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2002-2005.
Project: Grafting of lineage-restricted precursors into the CNS.

Joseph Bonner, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2005-2011
Project: Can neural stem cells form functional relays?

Chris Haas, MD/PhD program, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2010-2014
Project: Therapeutic properties of glial progenitor in spinal cord injury

Past postdocs since 2000:

Jason Schwalb, MD, Neurosurgical resident, 1999-2001, University of Pennsylvania

Xinshe Li, PhD, 1995-1997, Research Associate, MCP Hahnemann University

Gerard Johnson, 2001-2003, Postdoctoral Fellow, MCP Hahnemann University

Takashi Mitsui, MD, 2002-2005, Research Associate, Drexel University College of Medicine (Co-advisor with Dr. Murray). Received the Lapides grand award 2011.

Birgit Neuhuber, PhD 2003-2005, Research Assistant Professor, Drexel University College of Medicine. Promoted to Assistant Professor in 2005. Grant analyst at the NIH.

Hiroyuki Yoshihara, MD,  2003-2006, Nagoya City Univ., Nagoya, Japan (Co-advisor with Dr. Murray)

Jill See, PhD, 2007-2010, Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania

Ying Jin, PhD, 2009-2010, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Kentucky. Promoted to Assistant Professor 2011.

Takaya Yamagami, MD, 2010-2011, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nagoya City Univ., Nagoya, Japan

George Ghobrial, MD, 2013, Department of Neurosurgery, Jefferson College of Medicine, Philadelphia

Visiting scientists since 2000:

Ajay Bakshi, MD, Neurosurgery Instructor, Use of scaffolds in spinal cord injury 2001-2004

Raymond F. Sekula, Jr., Department of Neurological Surgery, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, 2007-present

Amer F. Samdani, MD, 2006-present, Spine Surgeon, Shriner’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2007-present

Eustace Johnson, PhD, 2009, RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital – Oswestry-Keele University, Visiting scientist through the UK-IS Collaboration Development Award

Zeev Silverman, PhD, 2009-2010, Chair, Department of Morphology, Ben Gurion University, Israel, Sabbatical year

Carla Madhala, PhD, 12/01/11-08/01/12, Department of Physical Therapy, University of San Paulo, Brazil

Mandy Johnstone, MD, PhD, 2012, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, UK

Xiaobing Yuan, PhD, 2014, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine.

Collaborators:

Neural stem cells/spinal cord injury

Dr. Jeff Twiss, University of South Carolina

Dr. Michael Lane, Faculty, Drexel University College of Medicine

Dr. Mahendra Rao, VP Regenerative Medicine, New York Stem Cell Foundation

Dr. Evan Snyder of The Burnham Institute

Dr. Darwin Prockop, Faculty, Tulane University Neuroscience Program

Biomaterials and Encapsulation

Dr. Peter Galie, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rowan University

Dr. Margaret Wheatley, Faculty, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University

Dr. Peter lelkes, Faculty, School of Biomedical Engineering, Temple University

Dr. Anthony Lowman, Professor and Dean, College of Engineering, Rowan University

Neuronal Cytoskeleton

Dr. Ralph Nixon, Faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Cell Biology, NYU Medical Center

Dr. Mark Black, Faculty, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University

Dr. Tom Shea, Director and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Dr. Phillip Gordon-Weeks, Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, MRC Centre for Biomedical Health Sciences, Kings' College, London

Dr. Fatiha Nothias, Faculty, CNRS (Paris)

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/itzhak.fischer.1/collections/50738823/public/

Review articles (since 2000)

Using neural stem cells to enhance repair and recovery of spinal circuits after injury.
Hou S, Fischer I
(2018) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (online Jan-March 2018) http://neuroscience.oxfordre.com

Improving the therapeutic efficacy of neural progenitor cell transplantation following spinal cord injury.
Lane MA, Lepore LC, Fischer I
(2017) Expert Rev Neurotherapeutics, (Dec 21:1-8. doi: 10.1080/14737175.2017.1270206. [Epub ahead of print] PMID 27927055).

Transplantation of neural progenitor cells in chronic spinal cord injury.
Jin Y, Bouyer J, Shumsky JS, Haas C, Fischer I
(2016) World Biomedical Frontier. http://biomedfrontiers.org/neuro-2016-8-25/

Guiding the migration of grafted cells to promote axon regeneration.
Yuan X, Haas C, Fischer I
(2016) Neural Regeneration Research 2016, 14;6:22576. doi: 10.1038/srep22576. PMID: 26971438

The "other" concussion: Spinal cord concussion.
Jin Y, Bouyer J, Haas C, Fischer I
(2016) Atlas of Science. http://atlasofscience.org/the-other-concussion-spinal-cord-concussion/

Examining the properties and therapeutic potential of glial restricted precursors in spinal cord injury.
Hayakawa K, Haas C, Fischer I
(2016) Neural Regeneration Research Apr;11(4):529-33. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.180725, PMID: 27212899

Spinal Cord Concussion: studying the potential risks of repetitive injury.
Fischer I, Haas C, Raghupathi R, Jin Y
(2016) Neural Regeneration Research DOI:10.4103/1673-5374.169634, PMID: 26981079

"Neural stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury"
Haas C, Ghobrial G, Bonner J, Fischer I
(2014) In: "Neural Stem Cells in Health and Disease" Shetty, A Ed. World Scientific.

Transplanting neural progenitors to build a neuronal relay across the injured spinal cord.
Haas C and Fischer I
(2014) Neural Regeneration Research 9: 1173-1176. PMID: 25206777

"Cellular replacement in spinal cord injury"
Bonner JF, Lepore AC, Rao M, Fischer I
(2014) In: "Textbook of Neural Repair and Rehabilitation. Neural Repair and Plasticity." Selzer ME, Clarke S, Cohen LG, Kwakkel G, Miller RH (eds). Pp. 435-456.

"Preparation of Neural Stem Cells and Progenitors: Neuronal Production and Grafting Applications."
Bonner JF, C Haas, and I Fischer
(2013) Methods in Molecular Biology – Neuronal Cell Culture. Volume 1078. Editors: Amini, Shohreh; White Martyn L. Methods Mol Biol. 1078:56-88.

Transplantation of neural stem cells and progenitors in animal models of disease.
Bonner J and Fischer I
(2013) In: "Neural Stem Cell Assays." Kaur, N and Vemuri M eds. Wiley Blackwell.

"Gene Therapy, Neurotrophic Factors and Spinal Cord Regeneration"
Blesch A, Fischer I, Tuszynski MH
(2012) In: "Handbook of Clinical Neurol," Chapter 37

"Cellular replacement in spinal cord injury"
Bonner J, Lepore AC, Rao M, Fischer I
(2011) In: "Textbook on Neural Repair and Rehabilitation. Neural Repair and Plasticity." Selzer ME, Clarke S, Cohen LG, Duncan PW, Gage FH (eds).

"Intrathecal delivery of stem cells to the spinal cord"
Neuhuber B and Fischer I
(2010) In: K. K. Jain (ed.), "Drug delivery to the central nervous system, Series: Neuromethods 45," Humana Press – Springer. Chapter 10:219-232.

"Cellular replacement in spinal cord injury"
Fischer I, Lepore AC, Han SSW, Tessler AR
(2006) In: "Textbook on Neural Repair and Rehabilitation. Neural Repair and Plasticity." Selzer ME, Clarke S, Cohen LG, Duncan PW, Gage FH (eds). Pp. 445-467.

Transplantation and gene therapy: Combined approaches for repair of spinal cord injury.
Murray M, Fischer I
(2001) Neuroscientist 7:28-41.

"Candidate cells for transplantation into the injured CNS"
Fischer I
(2000) In: Seil FJ, Ed, "Progress in Brain Research, Neural Plasticity and Regeneration." 128:253-258, Elsevier Science.

"Grafting of genetically modified fibroblasts into the injured spinal cord"
Liu Y, Murray M, Tessler A, Fischer I
(2000) In" Seil FJ, Ed, "Progress in Brain Research, Neural Plasticity and Regeneration." 128:309-322, Elsevier Science.

"Gene Therapy strategies in CNS axon regeneration"
Fischer I, Liu Y
(2000) In" "Nerve Regeneration." Ingoglia N and Murray M (eds). pp. 563-602, Marcel and Dekker.

MAP1B expression and microtubule stability in growing and regenerating axons.
Gordon-Weeks PR and Fischer I
(2000) Microscopy Res. and Technique 48:63-74.

 
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Itzhak Fischer, PhD, Chair, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy

Itzhak Fischer, PhD
Professor and Chair
Molecular Neurobiology
  ifischer@drexelmed.edu