Professor Geoffrey Raisman FMedSci FRS
Geoffrey Raisman was a neuroscientist whose research on neural regeneration is revolutionising how doctors tackle spinal injuries. Geoffrey’s techniques were also set to help patients who have been affected by stroke or have suffered from a loss of vision or hearing.
His research established that the adult brain and spinal cord form new connections after injury. He was able to show that olfactory ensheathing cells — specialised cells that guide the natural regeneration of nerves carrying the sense of smell from the nose to the brain — can be transplanted to form a pathway that allows severed nerve fibres to regenerate after injury and restore lost functions.
Clinical trials to repair spinal cord injury in patients based on Geoffrey’s findings took place in October 2014. A man who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack received a pioneering cell transplant developed by Geoffrey’s UCL team. Applied by surgeons at Wroclaw University Hospital in Poland, the patient can now walk with a frame.
Professor Geoffrey Raisman FMedSci FRS died on 27 January 2017.
Interests and expertise
Repair of spinal cord