We were deeply saddened to hear of Professor Geoffrey Raisman’s passing on 27th January 2017. Please read a tribute to him written by our founder David Nicholls here.
Professor Geoffrey Raisman FRS was a world-class British neuroscientist who lead a dedicated team focused on the repair of spinal cord injuries. He was a pioneer in the field of SCI and received funding from nsif.
He was Chair of Neural Regeneration at University College London’s Institute of Neurology at Queen Square, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Professor Raisman’s groundbreaking work at the University of Oxford established for the first time that the adult brain and spinal cord respond to injuries by forming new connections.
In 1980, Professor Raisman received the Wakeman Award for Research in the Neurosciences. In 1985, he discovered a type of cell, the olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC), which guides the natural regeneration of the nerve fibres that carry the sense of smell from the nose to the brain.
In 2005, Professor Raisman was awarded the Reeve-Irvine medal for critical contributions to promoting repair of the damaged spinal cord and recovery of function. Together with Professor Ying Li and Dr Daqing Li, the team has shown that transplantation of these cells into spinal cord injuries in laboratory models results in regeneration of severed nerve fibres and restoration of function. The team is now working on the practical steps needed to apply this approach to spinal injured patients.
Professor Raisman believed success in patients with spinal cord injuries will in future open the way to applying similar principles to devise new approaches to stroke, blindness and deafness.
We are proud to announce that nsif will be honouring the late Geoffrey Raisman by funding the ‘Professor Geoffrey Raisman Fellowship’ at UCL. By funding a PhD student, it will add further strength to the brilliant UCL team led by Professor Ying Li. Together they will continue to develop the work that Geoff was so passionate about, bringing us closer towards the ultimate goal of a cure for paralysis through SCI. Read more about it here.
**Source: World Health Organization