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The Fischer Lab Lab Members


Research Interests

Our goal is to promote regeneration and recovery of function after spinal cord injury by identifying the best strategies for cellular transplantation and to apply gene therapy methods to introduce therapeutic genes into the injured spinal cord. We are currently studying the efficacy of genetically modified fibroblasts, multipotential neural stem cells, neural and glial precursors, and bone marrow stromal cells.

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Current Lab Personnel

Itzhak Fischer, PhD

Itzhak Fischer, PhD

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 a 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 rodents and humans. I am a member of the Spinal Cord Research Group.

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
1989 – 1991: Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
1991 – 1995: Associate Professor, Medical College of Pennsylvania
1995 – 1999: Professor, Medical College of Pennsylvania
1999 – Present: Chair, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University College of Medicine


Drexel Fischer Lab: Maryla Obrocka

Maryla Obrocka

Research Assistant III


Drexel Fischer Lab: Ying Jin, PhD

Ying Jin, PhD

Research Assistant Professor


Drexel Fischer Lab: Julien Bouyer

Julien Bouyer

Research Assistant II


Drexel Fischer Lab: Tim Himes, PhD

Tim Himes, PhD

Instructor


Drexel Fischer Lab: Theresa Connors

Theresa Connors

Lab Instructor

Former Lab Members

Drexel Fischer Lab: Birgit Neuhuber, PhD

Birgit Neuhuber, PhD

Former Research Assistant Professor (now Program Director at NIH)


Drexel Fischer Lab: Takaya Yamagami, MD, PhD

Takaya Yamagami, MD, PhD

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (now Orthopedic Surgeon at Nagoya City University, Japan)


Drexel Fischer Lab: Chris Haas MD, PhD

Chris Haas MD, PhD

Student (now Resident at Hopkins)


Drexel Fischer Lab: Joseph Bonner, PhD

Joseph Bonner, PhD

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (now AAA Science and Technology Policy Fellow)


 

Carla Christina Medalha, PhD

Former Postdoctoral Fellow


Drexel Fischer Lab: Courtney Paul

Courtney Paul

Former Research Technician (now Assistant Professor at George Washington School of Medicine)


Drexel Fischer Lab: Steve Han, MD

Steve Han, MD

Former Graduate Student (now Senior Medical Director at GSK)


Drexel Fischer Lab: Angelo Lepore, PhD

Angelo Lepore, PhD

Former Graduate Student (now Faculty at Jefferson)


 

Xiaobing Yuan, PhD

Research Assistant Professor (now Faculty at Hussman Institute)


 

Kazuo Hayakawa MD, PhD

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (now Orthopedic Surgeon at Nagoya City University, Japan)

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Collaborators

Neural and Stromal Stem Cells

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

Dr. Jeff Twiss, University of South Carolina

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

Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Michael Beattie, Chair, Department of Neuroscience, Ohio State University

Dr. Jacqueline Bresnaham, Faculty, Department of Neuroscience, Ohio State University

Biomaterials and Encapsulation

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)

Other Colleagues

Dr. Pat Levitt, Professor and Chair in Developmental Neuroscience, USC

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Past Students Since 2000

Steve Han, MD/PhD program, Neurobiology and Anatomy, MCP Hahnemann University, 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

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Past Postdocs Since 2000

Jason Schwalb, MD, neurosurgical resident, University of Pennsylvania, 1999 – 2001

Gerard Johnson, postdoctoral fellow, MCP Hahnemann University, 2001 – 2003

Takashi Mitsui, MD, research associate, Drexel University College of Medicine (co-advisor with Dr. Murray), received the Lapides Grand Award in 2011, 2002 – 2005

Birgit Neuhuber, PhD, research assistant professor, Drexel University College of Medicine (promoted to assistant professor in 2005), grant analyst at the NIH, 2003 – 2005

Hiroyuki Yoshihara, MD, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan (co-advisor with Dr. Murray), 2003 – 2006

Jill See, PhD, research associate, University of Pennsylvania, 2007 – 2010

Ying Jin, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, University of Kentucky (promoted to assistant professor in 2011), 2009 – 2010

Takaya Yamagami, MD, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan, 2010 – 2011

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

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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, 2007 – present

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

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

Zeev Silverman, PhD, chair, Department of Morphology, Ben Gurion University, Israel, sabbatical year, 2009 – 2010

Carla Madhala, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of San Paulo, Brazil, December 1, 2011 – August 1, 2012

Mandy Johnstone, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, U.K., 2012

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

 
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