Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory


A/Prof. Stuart Hodgetts

Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory
Anatomy Physiology and Human Biology (UWA), and Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science


Astrocytes (GFAP, Red) and potential neuronal cells (Beta III Tubulin, Green) interacting within the injury site of the rat spinal cord at 1 month after moderate contusion injury.

Area of Expertise

Clinically relevant strategies for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). Particular interest in the application of adult stem cell based transplantation therapies as well as immune modulation of the host response to improve donor cell survival in treatments for spinal cord repair and its application to repairing CNS damage following injury. A main focus is the use of multipotent, purified adult human mesenchymal precursor “stem cells” isolated from the bone marrow of SCI patients to promote endogenous repair in rodent models of SCI. Other strategies include gene therapy, neuroprotective peptides, tissue engineering (including self-assembling peptides, scaffolds), non-invasive therapies (including magnetic stimulation and infra-red/near infra-red light) and immunomodulation.

Top 5 Recent Publications

  1. R. L. O’Hare Doig, C. A. Bartlett, S.I. Hodgetts, S. A. Dunlop, L. Hool, M. Fitzgerald (2016).” Specific combinations of ion channel inhibitors reduce excessive Ca2+ influx as a consequence of oxidative stress and increase neuronal and glial cell viability in vitro.” Neuroscience 339 p450-462
  2. Alan R. Harvey, Sarah J. Lovett, Bernadette T. Majda, Jun H. Yoon, Lachlan P.G. Wheeler, Stuart I. Hodgetts “Neurotrophic factors for spinal cord repair: which, where, how and when to apply, and for what period of time?” (2015) Brain Research 1619: 36-71
  3. Marcus Giacci, Lachlan Wheeler, Sarah Lovett, Emma Dishington, Bernadette Majda, Carole Bartlett, Emma Thornton, Elizabeth Harford-Wright, Anna Leonard, Robert Vink, Alan Harvey, Jan Provis, Sarah Dunlop, Nathan Hart, Stuart Hodgetts, Riccardo Natoli, Corinna Van Den Heuvel, Melinda Fitzgerald.  (2014). “Differential effects of 670 and 830nm red near infrared irradiation therapy: a comparative study of optic nerve injury, retinal degeneration, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury” PLOS ONE – August 2014, Volume 9 (8) e104565
  4. S. Hodgetts, Simmons, P.J. and Plant G.W. (2013) “A comparison of the behavioral and anatomical outcomes in sub-acute and chronic spinal cord injury models following treatment with human mesenchymal precursor cell transplantation and recombinant decorin”. Experimental Neurology
  5. S. Hodgetts, P.J. Simmons, G.W. Plant (2013). “Human Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (Stro-1+) from Spinal Cord Injury Patients Improve Functional Recovery and Tissue Sparing in an Acute Spinal Cord Injury Rat Model”. Cell Transplantation 22(3):393-412

Recent Grant Successes

  1. Neurotrauma Research Program of Western Australia  (NRP) Project (2012-2013) Stuart Hodgetts & Alan Harve. Cortical delivery of AAV-CNTF and/or AAV-IGF-1: effect on plasticity and regrowth of corticospinal axons after thoracic spinal cord injury $110,153
  2. NRP Project (2012-2013) Fitzgerald, M, Dunlop, S, Hart N, Hodgetts S, Harvey AR, , Provis J, Natoli R, Vink R, Van den Heuvel C. Optimisation of red/near-infrared light therapy for treatment of neurotrauma: a multi-centre collaborative approach $144,000
  3. NHMRC Project  (2014-2016) APP1061791 CIA-E; Fitzgerald, M, Dunlop, S, Hool, L, Hodgetts, S, Kilburn, M. Optimising combinations of calcium channel inhibitors for treatment of secondary degeneration after neurotrauma $657,562
  4. NRP Project (2015) Hodgetts S, Harvey AR, Van den Heuvel C Assessing APP 96-110: A novel neuroprotective agent in traumatic SCI $131,651
  5. NRP Project (2016) Hodgetts S.I., Harvey AR, Nisbet, D. Use of novel self assembling peptide hydrogels in spinal cord repair $134,250
  6. NRP Project (2016) Harvey AR, Rodger J., Hodgetts S.I., Assessing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for repair after spinal cord injury $145,216
  7. NRP  Project (2016) Meloni, B., Knuckey, N.K., Hodgetts, S. I., Cross, J. Pre-clinical assessment of the neuroprotective efficacy of arginine-rich peptides in neurotrauma injury models $113,636
  8. NRP Project (2017) Hodgetts S.I., Harvey AR, Wallace, V. Red/near infra-red irradiation therapy for spinal cord repair using implanted devices $96,730
  9. NRP Project (2017) Grounds, M., Harvey AR, Hodgetts S.I., Krishnan, V.S. Benefits of exercise on age related changes in old spinal cords: implications for therapies to maintain and repair spinal cord function in elderly humans $99,938
  10. NRP Project (2017) Meloni, B., Knuckey, N.K., Hodgetts, S. I., Cross, J. Pre-clinical assessment of poly-arginine peptide R180 as a therapeutic to reduce central nervous system injury following neurotrauma $99,650

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