New roles for old cells: exploring the immune functions of oligodendrocytes

Alistair Govier-Cole

Dr Alistair Govier-Cole

Monash University, VIC

| Better treatments | Neurobiology | Incubator | 2022 | Investigator Led Research |


While many of the factors involved in the onset of MS are becoming clear, novel interactions between key players of the immune system that lead to brain inflammation are still being discovered. For instance, there is growing evidence that the cells that normally repair areas of the brain damaged by autoimmune attacks, called oligodendrocytes, may be involved in perpetuating the autoimmune signal against myelin. Activation of this function may preclude the oligodendrocyte from repairing myelin.  

 This project seeks to further understand the mechanisms behind these interactions. Specifically, Dr Govier-Cole will investigate the influence exerted by an inflammatory molecule on oligodendrocytes and their capacity to perpetuate the autoimmune signal against myelin and repair myelin. He will also explore the involvement of a signalling pathway in regulating the influence of this inflammatory molecule. This signalling pathway has been shown to promote the oligodendrocyte autoimmune signal against myelin in laboratory work. It is hoped this work will reveal novel targets for new drugs that treat or even prevent autoimmune inflammation from occurring. 

Updated: 16 August, 2022

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $13,750


  • 1 year – starting 2022

Read More

Newsletter subscription

  • Enter your details

New roles for old cells: exploring the immune functions of oligodendrocytes