Renowned neurologist Professor Geoffrey Raisman has joined St George’s, University of London, as a Visiting Professor and will work with the university and hospital next door to investigate new spinal cord treatments.
Last year the work of Professor Raisman and his colleagues hit the headlines when their pioneering surgery enabled a man who was completely paralysed from the waist down to move his legs. This was the subject of a BBC Panorama programme.
The process involved regrowing the cells of a patient’s severed spinal cord by obtaining olfactory ensheathing cells – specialist cells that form part of the sense of smell – and implanting them in the damaged spinal cord. The olfactory ensheathing cells promote neuronal regeneration and recovery of function. His research has previously used rat models of spinal cord injury.
Geoffrey Raisman, who joined St George's in December 2014, will now work with Marios Papadopoulos, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University’s Cardiovascular and Cells Sciences Institute, to develop olfactory ensheathing cell implantation as a treatment for spinal cord injury in the UK. The investigations will be carried out working closely with colleagues the St George’s Hospital’s Neurosurgery department as the leading centre.