Overview

Current Work

Associate Professor James St John is Head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research. The aim of the Centre is to develop therapies to treat acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. By combining advanced cell purification techniques with natural product drug discovery and engineering, the team is designing three-dimensional nerve bridges that will help regenerate the brain and spinal cord. Currently, there is a focus on developing a therapy to repair the injured spinal cord and a Phase IIa clinical trial is planned to commence in a few years with the support of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation.

A/Prof St John also investigates how bacteria can penetrate the brain and spinal cord via entry from the nasal cavity. As bacteria are increasingly associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, it is clear that an understanding of the interaction of bacteria and the brain is crucial for the development of potential therapies.

A/Prof St John is also working on developing therapies to repair the injured olfactory (sense of smell) system. The focus of these therapies is to identify natural products that stimulate the neural stem cells and glia to regenerate the olfactory system after widespread injury or infection.
 

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Expertise Keywords

  • Glial cells
  • Neuro-degenerative diseases
  • Olfactory ensheathing cells
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord repair

Subject Area Codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Central Nervous System
  • Microbiology
  • Neurosciences
  • Peripheral Nervous System

Country Affiliations

  • Australia

Research Publications and Outputs

Recent Publications

Publications: 88 (Other: 88)

Funded Griffith Research

Engagement and Impact

Learning and Teaching

Current and Past Courses

  • Human Physiology (2002BPS)
    Teacher, In Person, Nathan Campus, Semester 2, 2013.
  • Human Physiology (2002NSC)
    Teacher, In Person, Nathan Campus, Semester 2, 2013.

Research by Higher Degree Supervision or Scholarship

Theses Supervised at Griffith

Background

Bio

Head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research.

Dr St John obtained his PhD in Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne. He then applied his expertise in carbohydrate synthesis and manipulation to determining the role of carbohydrates in the development and regeneration of the mammalian brain. He held positions as an NHMRC post-doctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne and University of Queensland, and has been chief investigator of NHMRC projects grants at the University of Queensland. In 2007 he took up the position of Group Leader of the Olfactory and Spinal Cord Repair Laboratory at the Eskitis Institute at Griffith University. In May 2016 he became Head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research.