Ian D. Duncan, BVMS, PhD, FRSE

Position title: Professor, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine

Email: duncani@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-9829

4160 Veterinary Medicine
2015 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706

Ian Duncan

BVMS 1971, Glasgow University
PhD 1975, Glasgow University

Research Interests
Dr. Duncan’s research is primarily focused on myelination. Myelination of the mammalian CNS is a complex developmental process that requires intricate timing of gene expression and cellular interactions between the axon and its myelinating cell, the oligodendrocyte. A deeper understanding of normal myelination has been provided by the study of the myelin mutants, animals in which these developmental processes have been interrupted, as a result of mutations in myelin genes. Dr. Duncan and his colleagues have been studying these mutants using morphological, tissue culture, and molecular approaches. Some of these mutants serve as bona fide models of human disease, and allow them opportunities to study repair as a translational step toward human therapies. Dr. Duncan has a long-standing interest in myelination of the optic nerve and has studied this in a variety of myelin mutants. As a part of the CNS encumbered with neurons, it makes an ideal structure in which to study axons and glia. Dr. Duncan’s lab continues this work and recently discovered a mouse mutant with focal compression of the optic nerve on which they are collaborating with Dr. J. Verhoeve.

In addition, Dr. Duncan’s lab is exploring the role that transplantation of glial cells might play in repairing focal lesions in multiple sclerosis and more generalized defects in the people with genetic disorders. To accomplish this, they are defining the type of cell that could be transplanted, beginning from embryonic stem cells and their derivatives through tissue-specific progenitors. They are also developing new models to study such repair, and are exploring the mechanisms of compounds or molecules that may help promote repair, lessen inflammation, and protect transplanted cells. Finally, with collaborators, Dr. Duncan’s lab is developing new imaging techniques to study cell migration of transplanted cells in vivo and the myelin that they make.

PubMed Listing of Publications