Zebrafish brain showing axon projections from eye on right to optic tectum on left (Poulain lab)
Mouse brain with cells electroporated in utero with GFP in green (Lizarraga lab)
3D confocal image of Thy1-YFP mouse brain (Twiss lab)
Axons of cortical neurons in(green) in growth cones (Smith lab)
3D confocal image of dendritic spines in Thy1-YFP mouse brain (Twiss lab)

    The Center for Childhood Neurotherapeutics at the University of South Carolina was conceived a few years previously as part of South Carolina’s SmartState Endowment Program. We began in earnest with recruitment of Jeff Twiss in 2013. With his arrival, additional faculty have joined, and the Center now includes the research programs of Drs. Deanna Smith, Fabienne Poulain, and Sofia Lizarraga. As a group, our research focuses broadly on the molecular mechanisms of nervous system diseases with ultimate goals of finding novel strategies to treat disease and encourage neural repair. Our research efforts compliment those in Childhood Neurotherapeutics Centers developing at the USC Greenville School of Medicine and Medical University of South Carolina with additional faculty recruitments.

Current News

  • March 2015 - Jeff Twiss chaired a symposium at the American Society for Neurochemistry meeting entitled ‘Wiring Neurons through mRNA Regulation in Health and Disease’ in Atlanta, GA. He also gave a platform presentation entitled ‘RNA-Protein Interactions for Axonally Transported mRNAs’.

  • March 2015 - Fabienne Poulain was awarded a 3 year grant from the National Institutes of Health, entitled ‘Functions of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in axon guidance and degeneration’ for approximately $747,000.

  • Feb 2015 - New Equipment – Our Molecular Devices ‘SpetraMax i3’ instrument arrived in CLS 707. This versatile instrument will be used to test analyze DNA, RNA, protein, and small molecule interactions.

  • Feb 2015 - Sofia Lizarraga joins the Center as Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences from Brown University School of Medicine.

  • Feb 2015 - Fabienne Poulain published a paper entitled ‘Analyzing the role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans in axon guidance in vivo in zebrafish’ in Methods in Molecular Biology 1229:469-82.

  • Jan 2015 - Renovations for the Zebrafish research facility for Dr. Poulain’s research program were completed. We are anxiously awaiting arrival of The Fish!

  • Jan 2015 - Fabienne Poulain joins the Center as Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences from University of Utah Medical School.

  • Jan 2015 - Jeff Twiss was awarded a grant from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation entitled ‘Targeting Intrinsic Mechanisms for Supporting Neural Repair’ for $319,000.

  • Nov 2014 - Encyclopedia of Cell Biology chapter entitled ‘Neuronal transport and spatial signaling mechanisms in neural repair’ by Ashley Kalinski, Timothy Hines, Deanna Smith, and Jeff Twiss was accepted for publication.

  • July 2014 - Jeff Twiss was awarded a 5 year grant from National Institutes of Health, entitled ‘Modifying Intrinsic Growth Capacity through Axonal mRNA Translation’ for approximately $1,850,000.