Professor William Richardson FMedSci FRS

Professor William Richardson FMed Sci FRS

Professor of Biology and Director, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London

William Richardson has made major contributions to our understanding of two areas: (1) targeting of proteins to the cell nucleus and (2) development of oligodendrocytes, the cells of the central nervous system that make myelin to speed nerve impulses. His outstanding achievements are: showing that PDGF is a major regulator of oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation, mapping the embryonic origins of these cells, showing that they develop from the same progenitors as motor neurons, revealing the nature of the molecular switch between neuron and oligodendrocyte generation, and demonstrating that myelination continues into adulthood and thus could serve as a learning mechanism.

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