Professor Robert Fern
Profiles

Professor Robert Fern

Professor in Translational Neurobiology

Biomedical Research - Institute of Translational & Stratified Medicine (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and De

Qualifications

Education               1992  Ph.D., University College London, Universityof London.

                                1988  HDQC (B.Sc.), St Thomas's, University of London.

                                Post-Doc,Department of Neurology, Yale University.

 

Positions

2013-present           Professor, University of Plymouth

2010-2013               Professor, University ofLeicester.

2002-2010               Reader in Neuroscience,University of Leicester.

2002-2011               Affiliate Faculty Neurology,University of Washington.

1996-2002               AssistantProfessor, Department of Neurology, University of Washington.

1994-1996               Associate Research Scientist,Department of Neurology, Yale University.

 

Additional:

2004-2011               Graduate Medical DegreeCommittee, University of Leicester.

2003-2005               Board of Studies, School ofBiological Science, University of Leicester.

2003                        Graduate Tutor, CellPhysiology and Pharmacology, University of Leicester.

2002-2012               Seniorplanning group, Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Leicester.

2002                        Member of Study SectionMDCN-3, NINDS.

2001-2002               Director, Cell Imaging Core.University of Washington.

1999-2002               Independent Study in MedicalScience coordinator. University of Washington.

1999-2002               Scientific Board, Pediatric EpilepsyResearch Council. University of Washington.

1996-2002               Affiliate, Center on HumanDevelopment and Disability, University of Washington.

Research interests

My laboratory is primarily interested in the kinds of injury that occurs in the brain following loss of blood supply. These ischemic injuries may take place in he adult brain, leading to stroke; or in the developing nervous system,leading to cerebral palsy. Stroke is the third biggest killer in Western society while cerebral palsy is the most common neurological disorder of infancy, affecting 3:1000 babies. Neither stroke nor cerebral palsy have affective treatments and we are working to understand how the brain cells are injured in these disorders so that we can intervene. 

Grants & contracts

Research grants

Current:

2014-2018               “Tackling autophagy and apoptosis for thepotential therapy of Huntington's Disease” PI: Shouqing Luo. £515,000 CI:R. Fern: 5% effort. MRC (MR/M023605/1)

2014-2018               “Toxicant-inducedsynaptic dysfunction and neurotoxicity in Parkinson's disease”. NIH(R01 ES22274-01A1). PI: Kim Tieu. $737,220 CI: R.Fern: 5% effort

2014-2017               “Manipulatingmitochondrial dynamics as a potential therapeutic strategy for Parkinson'sdisease”. PI: Kim Tieu. £511, 230 MRC (MR/L022079/1) CI: R.Fern: 5% effort.

2013-2016               “Ion regulation in CNS whitematter.” Direct costs: £450,000.BBSRC.

Past:

2005-2007               "A new paradigm in ischemic brain diseases." Direct costs:  £28,480. Medisearch, Leicester.

2004-2006               "Voltage-gated calcium channels in developing central axons." Direct costs:  £35,600. Medisearch, Leicester.

2002-2009         "Ischemic injury of neonatal CNS white matter." Direct costs: $1,150,000. National Institutes of Health. USA.

1999                        Infrastructure supplement. Direct costs: $50,000.National Institutes of Health. USA.

1997-2002          "Ischemici njury of neonatal CNS white matter." Direct costs: $345,000. National Institutes of Health, USA.

Research groups

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
Articles
Trotman-Lucas M, Kelly ME, Janus J, Fern R & Gibson CL 2017 'An alternative surgical approach reduces variability following filament induction of experimental stroke in mice' Disease Models & Mechanisms 10, (7) 931-938 , DOI
Fern R 2017 'Astrocytes snipH out bicarbonate to regulate acid-base' The Journal of Physiology 595, (8) 2417-2417 , DOI
Fern R 2017 'The Leukocentric Theory of Neurological Disorder: A Manifesto' Neurochemical Research 42, (9) 2666-2672 , DOI
Parpura V, Sekler I & Fern R 2016 'Plasmalemmal and mitochondrial Na + -Ca 2+ exchange in neuroglia' Glia , DOI
Quraishe S, Wyttenbach A, Matinyarare N, Perry VH, Fern R & O’Connor V 2016 'Selective and compartmentalized myelin expression of HspB5' Neuroscience 316, 130-142 , DOI
Hansen DB, Garrido-Comas N, Salter M & Fern R 2015 'HCO3(-)-independent pH regulation in astrocytes in situ is dominated by V-ATPase' J Biol Chem 290, (13) 8039-8047 Author Site , DOI
Fern R 2015 'Ischemic tolerance in pre-myelinated white matter: the role of astrocyte glycogen in brain pathology' J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 35, (6) 951-958 Author Site , DOI
Alghamdi B & Fern R 2015 'Phenotype overlap in glial cell populations: astroglia, oligodendroglia and NG-2(+) cells' FRONTIERS IN NEUROANATOMY 9, Author Site , DOI
Alghamdi B & Fern R 2015 'Phenotype overlap in glial cell populations: astroglia, oligodendroglia and NG-2(+) cells' FRONTIERS IN NEUROANATOMY 9, Author Site , DOI
Huria T, Beeraka NM, Al-Ghamdi B & Fern R 2015 'Premyelinated central axons express neurotoxic NMDA receptors: relevance to early developing white-matter injury' J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 35, (4) 543-553 Author Site , DOI
Trotman M, Vermehren P, Gibson CL & Fern R 2015 'The dichotomy of memantine treatment for ischemic stroke: dose-dependent protective and detrimental effects' J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 35, (2) 230-239 Author Site , DOI
Butt AM, Fern RF & Matute C 2014 'Neurotransmitter signaling in white matter' Glia 62, (11) 1762-1779 , DOI
Fern RF, Matute C & Stys PK 2014 'White matter injury: Ischemic and nonischemic' Glia 62, (11) 1780-1789 Author Site , DOI
Alix JJP, Zammit C, Riddle A, Meshul CK, Back SA, Valentino M & Fern R 2012 'Central axons preparing to myelinate are highly sensitivity to ischemic injury' Annals of Neurology 72, (6) 936-951 , DOI
Domingues AMDJ, Neugebauer KM & Fern R 2011 'Identification of four functional NR3B isoforms in developing white matter reveals unexpected diversity among glutamate receptors' J Neurochem 117, (3) 449-460 Author Site , DOI
Quimby S & Fern R 2011 'Novel morphological features of developing white matter pericytes and rapid scavenging of reactive oxygen species in the neighbouring endothelia' J Anat 219, (1) 65-77 Author Site , DOI
Domingues AMDJ, Taylor M & Fern R 2010 'Glia as transmitter sources and sensors in health and disease' Neurochem Int 57, (4) 359-366 Author Site , DOI
Constantinou S & Fern R 2009 'Conduction block and glial injury induced in developing central white matter by glycine, GABA, noradrenalin, or nicotine, studied in isolated neonatal rat optic nerve' Glia 57, (11) 1168-1177 Author Site , DOI
Alix JJP & Fern R 2009 'Glutamate receptor-mediated ischemic injury of premyelinated central axons' Ann Neurol 66, (5) 682-693 Author Site , DOI
Arranz AM, Hussein A, Alix JJP, Perez-Cerda F, Allcock N, Matute C & Fern R 2008 'Functional glutamate transport in rodent optic nerve axons and glia' GLIA 56, (12) 1353-1367 Author Site , DOI
Salter MG & Fern R 2008 'The mechanisms of acute ischemic injury in the cell processes of developing white matter astrocytes' J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 28, (3) 588-601 Author Site , DOI
Alix JJP, Dolphin AC & Fern R 2008 'Vesicular apparatus, including functional calcium channels, are present in developing rodent optic nerve axons and are required for normal node of Ranvier formation' J Physiol 586, (17) 4069-4089 Author Site , DOI
Back SA, Craig A, Kayton RJ, Luo NL, Meshul CK, Allcock N & Fern R 2007 'Hypoxia—Ischemia Preferentially Triggers Glutamate Depletion from Oligodendroglia and Axons in Perinatal Cerebral White Matter' Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 27, (2) 334-347 , DOI
Domercq M, Sanchez-Gomez MV, Sherwin C, Etxebarria E, Fern R & Matute C 2007 'System x(c)(-) and glutamate transporter inhibition mediates microglial toxicity to oligodendrocytes' JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY 178, (10) 6549-6556 Author Site
Sherwin C & Fern R 2005 'Acute lipopolysaccharide-mediated injury in neonatal white matter glia: Role of TNF-alpha IL-1,beta and calcium' JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY 175, (1) 155-161 Author Site
Salter MG & Fern R 2005 'NMDA receptors are expressed in developing oligodendrocyte processes and mediate injury' NATURE 438, (7071) 1167-1171 Author Site , DOI
Thomas R, Salter MG, Wilke SR, Husen A, Allcock N, Nivison M, Nnoli AN & Fern R 2004 'Acute ischemic injury of astrocytes is mediated by Na-K-Cl cotransport and not Ca2+ influx at a key point in white matter development' JOURNAL OF NEUROPATHOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL NEUROLOGY 63, (8) 856-871 Author Site
Wilke SR, Thomas R, Allcock N & Fern R 2004 'Mechanism of acute ischemic injury of oligodendroglia in early myelinating white matter: The importance of astrocyte injury and glutamate release' JOURNAL OF NEUROPATHOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL NEUROLOGY 63, (8) 872-881 Author Site
Fern R 2003 'Variations in spare electron transport chain capacity: The answer to an old riddle?' JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH 71, (6) 759-762 Author Site , DOI
Fern R 2001 'Ischemia: astrocytes show their sensitive side' Prog Brain Res 132, 405-411 Author Site , DOI
Wender R, Brown AM, Fern R, Swanson RA, Farrell K & Ransom BR 2000 'Astrocytic glycogen influences axon function and survival during glucose deprivation in central white matter' JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 20, (18) 6804-6810 Author Site
Fern R & Moller T 2000 'Rapid ischaemic cell death in immature oligodendrocytes' JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON 523, 90P-90P Author Site
Fern R & Moller T 2000 'Rapid ischemic cell death in immature oligodendrocytes: A fatal glutamate release feedback loop' JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 20, (1) 34-42 Author Site
Fern R, Davis P, Waxman SG & Ransom BR 1998 'Axon conduction and survival in CNS white matter during energy deprivation: A developmental study' JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY 79, (1) 95-105 Author Site
Brown AM, Fern R, L. Jarvinen JP, Kaila K & Ransom BR 1998 'Changes in [Ca2+]0 during anoxia in CNS white matter' NeuroReport 9, (9) 1997-2000 , DOI
Fern R 1998 'Intracellular calcium and cell death during ischemia in neonatal rat white matter astrocytes in situ' JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 18, (18) 7232-7243 Author Site
Fern R 1998 'Routes of Ca2+ influx during ischaemia in rat neonatal white matter astrocytes in situ' JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON 511P, 14P-14P Author Site
Ransom BR & Fern R 1997 'Does astrocytic glycogen benefit axon function and survival in CNS white matter during glucose deprivation?' GLIA 21, (1) 134-141 Author Site
Fern R 1997 'Intracellular Ca2+ and ischaemic cell death in neonatal white matter glia in situ' JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON 504P, P167-P167 Author Site
Fern R & Ransom BR 1997 'Ischemic injury of optic nerve axons: The nuts and bolts' CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE 4, (5) 246-250 Author Site
Fern R, Ransom BR & Waxman SG 1996 'Autoprotective mechanisms in the CNS - Some new lessons from white matter' MOLECULAR AND CHEMICAL NEUROPATHOLOGY 27, (2) 107-129 Author Site
Fern R, Black JA, Ransom BR & Waxman SG 1996 'Cd2+-induced injury in CNS white matter' JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY 76, (5) 3264-3273 Author Site
Fern R, Connolly GP & Harrison PJ 1996 'Evidence for functional co-activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors by glycine' NeuroReport 7, (12) 1953-1956 , DOI
Fern R 1996 'Metabolic inhibition and selective axonal injury' NEUROSCIENTIST 2, (6) 313-314 Author Site
Fern R, Ransom BR & Waxman SG 1996 'White matter stroke: Auto protective mechanisms with therapeutic implications' CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES 6, (2) 59-65 Author Site , DOI
Fern R 1995 'Axon Resealing: Filling in the Holes' The Neuroscientist 1, (5) 253-254 , DOI
Fern R, Waxman SG & Ransom BR 1995 'Endogenous GABA attenuates CNS white matter dysfunction following anoxia' J Neurosci 15, (1 Pt 2) 699-708 Author Site
FERN R, WAXMAN SG & RANSOM BR 1995 'ENDOGENOUS GABA ATTENUATES CNS WHITE-MATTER DYSFUNCTION FOLLOWING ANOXIA' JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 15, (1) 699-708 Author Site
FERN R, RANSOM BR & WAXMAN SG 1995 'VOLTAGE-GATED CALCIUM CHANNELS IN CNS WHITE-MATTER - ROLE IN ANOXIC INJURY' JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY 74, (1) 369-377 Author Site
FERN R, WAXMAN SG & RANSOM BR 1994 'MODULATION OF ANOXIC INJURY IN CNS WHITE-MATTER BY ADENOSINE AND INTERACTION BETWEEN ADENOSINE AND GABA' JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY 72, (6) 2609-2616 Author Site
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1994 'The contribution of ischaemia and deformation to the conduction block generated by compression of the cat sciatic nerve' Experimental Physiology 79, (4) 583-592 , DOI
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1994 'The relationship between ischaemic conduction failure and conduction velocity in cat myelinated axons' Experimental Physiology 79, (4) 571-581 , DOI
FERN R, RANSOM BR, STYS PK & WAXMAN SG 1993 'PHARMACOLOGICAL PROTECTION OF CNS WHITE-MATTER DURING ANOXIA - ACTIONS OF PHENYTOIN, CARBAMAZEPINE AND DIAZEPAM' JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS 266, (3) 1549-1555 Author Site
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1993 'The variation in safety factor with myelinated axon diameter: experiments with low sodium perfusion' Brain Research 616, (1-2) 48-52 , DOI
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1991 'The effects of compression upon conduction in myelinated axons of the isolated frog sciatic nerve' The Journal of Physiology 432, (1) 111-122 , DOI
Fern R, Harrison PJ & Riddell JS 1988 'The ascending projection of interneurones activated by group I muscle afferent fibres of the cat hindlimb' The Journal of Physiology 405, (1) 275-288 , DOI
Fern R, Harrison PJ & Riddell JS 1988 'The dorsal column projection of muscle afferent fibres from the cat hindlimb' The Journal of Physiology 401, (1) 97-113 , DOI
Chapters
Fern R 2014 'Focal ischemic white matter injury in experimental models' White Matter Injury in Stroke and CNS Disease 169-179 , DOI
Conference Papers
Rosa AO & Fern R 2015 'A new in vitro model of focal ischemia: towards the understanding of re-oxygenation specific damage in the white matter' E262-E262
Doyle S & Fern R 2015 'Glutamate release mechanisms in pre-myelinated CNS white matter' E258-E259
Hansen DB, Garrido-Comas N, Salter M & Fern R 2015 'HCO3--independent pH regulation in astrocytes in situ is dominated by V-ATPase' E444-E445
Vermehren P & Fern R 2013 'Parallel pathways of glutamate and ATP-mediated excitotoxicity cause significant neural cell death during ischaemia: potential for novel neuroprotective strategies' 111-111
Shannon C, Salter M & Fern R 2007 'GFP imaging of live astrocytes: regional differences in the effects of ischaemia upon astrocytes' 684-692 , DOI
FERN R, RANSOM BR & WAXMAN SG 1994 'Ca2+-mediated injury in anoxic white matter: Autoprotective mechanisms and therapeutic strategies' 31-45
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1991 'The slow time course of conduction slowing in myelinated axons of the isolated frog sciatic nerve perfused with a high concentration of potassium ions'
Fern R & Harrison PJ 1990 'The contribution of ischaemia and axon deformation to conduction block induced by compression in the sciatic nerve of the anaesthetized cat'