Dr. Mark Noble is a pioneering researcher in the fields of stem cell biology and stem cell medicine. His laboratory has made major contributions in multiple areas of research, beginning in 1983 when, working with Martin Raff and Robert Miller in London, he co-discovered the first precursor cell isolated from the central nervous system (CNS). Dr. Noble and his colleagues then were the first to identify means of growing these cells in tissue culture, means of enabling expansion sufficient for carrying out repair, and the first to repair damaged tissue (in this case, the demyelinated spinal cord) by purifying progenitor cells, expanding them outside the body and transplanting them to obtain tissue repair.
Interest in cell-based therapies is now focused on collaborations with the laboratory of Dr. Chris Proschel on transplantation of a unique population of astrocytes to promote recovery and repair in acute and chronic injury to the central nervous system.
Along with work on cell transplantation and precursor cell biology, Dr. Noble and his colleagues:
• Established the importance of intracellular redox state as a critical regulator of precursor cell function and in the function of multiple extracellular signaling molecules. These findings laid the foundation for rapidly growing interest in metabolic regulation of stem and progenitor cell function.
• Discovered the redox/Fyn/c-Cbl pathway. This pathway provides the first molecular mechanism linking changes in redox state with regulation of precursor cell division, differentiation and survival
• Discovered the cellular foundations underlying the adverse neurological effects of treatment of cancer patients with a wide variety of chemotherapeutic agents (a problem generally referred to as chemobrain)
• Discovered novel mechanisms required for cancer stem cell function in glioblastoma, basal-like breast cancer, and other cancers
• Identified novel therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment, which offer the potential to be more effective and less toxic than existing therapies.
Current research efforts and collaborations are focused on developing pharmacological and cell-based approaches to treatment of spinal cord injury, development of novel treatments for peripheral nerve injury, better understanding the reasons why treatment with chemotherapy can cause profound neurological changes, developing safer cancer treatments that more effectively eliminate cancer cells while sparing the normal cells of the body and developing new therapeutic approaches for diseases involving lysosomal dysfunction in pediatric and adult populations, and for devastating pediatric neurological diseases.
Dr. Noble received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977. He joined the faculty of the University of Rochester in 2000. He currently holds professorships in Genetics, Neurology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York and is Director of the University of Rochester Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute. He is an inventor on 15 filed or pending patents and has consulted for multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He also was a member of the founding scientific advisory board of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the treatment of neurological disease. He is co-author of over 150 scientific publications.