Jessica Kwok

Job Title: University Academic Fellow

I am interested in the function and the mechanism of how proteoglycans control neural regeneration and plasticity after injury in the central nervous system (CNS).

Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs), apart from being strongly up-regulated after CNS injury, are also present in a structure called perineuronal nets (PNNs). PNNs are a layer of aggregated extracellular matrix, composed of CSPGs, link proteins and hyaluronan wrapping around the surface of sub-populations of neurons. Emerging evidence demonstrated that PNNs are important in controlling plasticity during development and regeneration. My research is mainly focused on understanding the structure of the PNNs, how they control plasticity and how to improve plasticity by PNN manipulation.