Professor Ann Logan BSc, PGCE, PhD

Image of Professor Logan

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Molecular Neuroscience
Head of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology

Contact details

Address
Neuroscience and Ophthalmology
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
2nd floor IBR West Extension
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Logan is the Regenerative and Reconstructive Medicine Theme Lead for the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre; the Regenerative Medicine Theme Lead for the NIHR Healthcare Technology Co-operative in Trauma Management and also leads the Neuroscience and Ophthalmology Research Group based in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Qualifications

  • PhD Neuroendocrinology, University of Birmingham - 1979
  • PGCE, University of Birmingham - 1975
  • BSc 1st Class (Hons) Botany/Zoology, University of London - 1974

Biography

Professor Ann Logan received her BSc from the University of London in 1974 and PhD training in neuroendocrinology at the University of Birmingham between 1975 and 1978.  After post-doctoral training at the University of Leeds and in the laboratories of Professor Roger Guillemin and Professor Andrew Baird at Scripps Hospital, La Jolla, CA, she established the Neurotrauma Group at the University of Birmingham in 1990, where she is currently Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Head of the Neurotrauma Research Group within the College of Medicine and Dentistry.  Her research interests centre upon the trophic regulation of injury responses. Her work has generated more than 185 research publications on the roles, mechanisms and exploitation of growth factors in the injured tissues, with particular interests in neurotrauma of the eye. Professor Logan strives to translate scientific advancements into the clinical arena for patient benefit. For her own research she works closely with both clinicians and companies to initiate clinical trials of novel anti-scarring and reparative drugs. In 2011 a £20M NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre was opened in Birmingham that incorporates the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.  Within this Centre Ann leads the Regenerative and Reconstructive Medicine research team and is PI for a number of major £multi-million translational projects related to the clinical development of anti-scarring technologies. This unique multidisciplinary grouping of academics with civilian and military clinician researchers provides an unrivalled opportunity to promote trauma research for patient benefit in the UK. In addition, she is also founder, director and CSO for a University of Birmingham spin-out company called Neuregenix Ltd, that offers neural drug screening services to large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Teaching

  • BMedSc - Molecular Medicine and Molecular Neuroscience options
  • MBChB
    • 2nd and 3rd year SSM – Lectures and extended essays in Neurodegeneration
    • 3rd year Neuroscience lectures
  • PgR Professional Training Programme
  • MSc Neurotrauma
  • EPSRC ScyPhy CBT Teaching Programme

Postgraduate supervision

Ann has successfully supervised 23 PhD students to completion as first supervisor with a further 8 PhD students currently working in her laboratory.

If you are interested in studying within the Neurotrauma research group please contact Ann on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.

Research

Ann Logan currently heads the UoB Neuroscience and Ophthalmology Research Group and also leads the NIHR SRMRC Regenerative Medicine Theme at the QEHB. She trained as a neuroendocrinologist and, since 1981, focused research on neurotrauma, and specifically the role of growth factors in the scarring and regeneration responses of the injured CNS. Her background led to co-founding the British Growth Factor Group in 1991 and numerous productive collaborations generating publications on the roles of growth factors in neurotrauma, diabetes, thyroid and cartilage physiology/pathophysiology. Her primary work in the injured CNS has demonstrated that combinatorial therapeutic strategies that enhance neuron survival, prime neurons and drive disinhibited axon growth are required for successful nerve regeneration. The realisation that efforts to elicit CNS nerve regeneration were fundamentally hampered by the limitations of techniques of therapeutic protein delivery led to her developing technology for CNS gene/shRNA transfer. This led to her co-founding the British Society for Gene Therapy in 2005. She pioneered the optic nerve injury model for studying post-trauma CNS regeneration and showed that regeneration is limited by glia-derived axon growth inhibitory ligands and the limited supplies of survival and growth molecules available to injured neurons. The latter hypothesis is supported by a number of novel observations: (1) acute application of anti-apoptotic factors significantly enhances survival of some neuronal populations; (2) sustained application of neurotrophic factors (NTF) perisomally, circumvents entrapment of growing axons within a NTF ‘sink’ formed after local administration, allowing regeneration to proceed through the lesion and beyond; (3) axons regenerate through putative growth-inhibitory CNS myelinated tracts after delivery of specific combinations of NTF to the perikarya of injured axons, without a prerequisite for neutralisation of the inhibitory substrate; (4) regenerating axons accurately negotiate pathway choices in their trajectory; (5) regenerative success after perisomal NTF administration is correlated with suppression of glial/collagen scarring in acute and chronic lesions. Activation of NTF signalling pathways is required to protect neurons from apoptosis, to mobilise axon growth, to down regulate the production of receptors for growth inhibitors and up-regulate metalloproteinase release from growing axons to modulate scarring and the activity of receptors for inhibitory molecules. Most recently she has translated an anti-apoptotic siRNA into a Phase 1 Clinical Trial, discovered a novel NTF-related mechanism for axon growth disinhibition, developed novel si/shRNA techniques to block axon growth inhibitory signalling, identified a completely new receptor involved in inhibitory ligand signalling and revealed an unanticipated mechanism of neurotrophic action for small molecule EGFR inhibitors.

Of direct relevance to this application is Prof Logan’s longstanding research focus on scarring with a view to devising a pharmacological strategy for prevention and thereby disinhibiting tissue regeneration. Specifically, in the CNS she has established the: (a) natural history and ontogeny of glial-collagen scarring in the CNS; (b) modification of scarring by grafts implanted into the adult optic nerve and cord; (c) chronological changes in the profile of growth factor/cytokines after CNS injury; (d) suppression of inflammation and inhibition of scarring in the adult CNS by administering cytokine antagonists; and (e) inverse relationship between axon regeneration and scarring. She is now using anti-fibrotic agents to inhibit scar formation at various sites of damage/disease to preserve function.

Other activities

  • 2014: Co-founder and Director of a spin-out company called “Alpha-Cicatrix Ltd”, a biomaterials consultancy company
  • 2011-Present: Assessor of research proposals submitted to the Technology Strategy Board (Biomedical Catalyst UK)
  • 2005: Co-founder and Director of a University of Birmingham spin-out company “Neuregenix Ltd”, a successful CRO
  • 1995 – Present: Regular reviewer of research papers for numerous peer-reviewed journals and grant assessor for MRC, BBSRC and numerous charities
  • International Spinal Research Committee – Member Scientific Advisory Board
  • International Spinal Research Committee – Member Programme Organising Committee
  • Society for Endocrinology – Member Awards Committee
  • Society for Endocrinology – Member Finance Committee
  • British Society for Gene Therapy – Founder member and Steering Group
  • British Society for Gene Therapy – Executive Board
  • Endocrinology – Editorial Board
  • Current Opinion in Pharmacology – Section Editor (Endocrinology and Metabolism)

Publications

Most recent papers from over 170:

Anuriti A, Botfield H, McAllister JP 2nd, Gonzalez AM, Abdullah O, Logan A and Sinclair A (2016) Diffusion tensor imaging with direct cytopathological validation: characterisation of decorin treatment in experimental juvenile communicating hydrocephalus. Fluids Barriers CNS 13(1):9

Mead B, Hill LJ, Blanch RJ, Ward K, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W and Scheven BA (2016) Mesenchymal stromal cell-mediated neuroprotection and functional preservation of retinal ganglion cells in a rodent model of glaucoma. Cytotherapy 18(4):487-96

Morgan-Warren PJ, O'Neill J, de Cogan F, Spivak I, Ashush H, Kalinski H, Ahmed Z, Berry M, Feinstein E, Scott RA and Logan A (2016) siRNA-Mediated Knockdown of the mTOR Inhibitor RTP801 Promotes Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Axon Elongation by Direct and Indirect Mechanisms. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57(2):429-43

Berry M, Ahmed Z, Morgan-Warren P, Fulton D and Logan A (2016) Prospects for mTOR-mediated functional repair after central nervous system trauma. Neurobiol Dis 85:99-110 [Review]

Vigneswara V, Esmaeili M, Deer L, Berry M, Logan A and Ahmed Z (2015) Eye drop delivery of pigment epithelium-derived factor-34 promotes retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection and axon regeneration. Mol Cell Neurosci 68:212-21

Hill LJ, Mead B, Blanch RJ, Ahmed Z, De Cogan F, Morgan-Warren PJ, Mohamed S, Leadbeater W, Scott RA, Berry M and Logan A (2015) Decorin Reduces Intraocular Pressure and Retinal Ganglion Cell Loss in Rodents Through Fibrolysis of the Scarred Trabecular Meshwork. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56(6):3743-57

Kelly M, Williams R, Aojula A, O'Neill J, Trzińscka Z, Grover L, Scott RA, Peacock AF, Logan A, Stamboulis A and de Cogan F (2015) Peptide aptamers: Novel coatings for orthopaedic implants. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 54:84-93

Mead B, Berry M, Logan A, Scott RA, Leadbeater W and Scheven BA (2015) Stem cell treatment of degenerative eye disease. Stem Cell Res 14(3):243-57

Davies DJ, Su Z, Clancy MT, Lucas SJ, Dehghani H, Logan A and Belli A (2015) Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in the Monitoring of Adult Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review. J Neurotrauma 32(13):933-41

Esmaeili M, Berry M, Logan A and Ahmed Z (2014) Decorin treatment of spinal cord injury. Neural Regen Res 9(18):1653-6

Mead B, Thompson A, Scheven BA, Logan A, Berry M and Leadbeater W (2014) Comparative evaluation of methods for estimating retinal ganglion cell loss in retinal sections and wholemounts. PLoS One 9(10):e110612

Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W and Scheven BA (2014) Paracrine-mediated neuroprotection and neuritogenesis of axotomised retinal ganglion cells by human dental pulp stem cells: comparison with human bone marrow and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. PLoS One 9(10):e109305

Mead B, Logan A, Berry M, Leadbeater W and Scheven BA (2014) Dental pulp stem cells, a paracrine-mediated therapy for the retina. Neural Regen Res 9(6):577-8

Blanch RJ, Ahmed Z, Thompson AR, Akpan N, Snead DR, Berry M, Troy CM, Scott RA and Logan A (2014) Caspase-9 mediates photoreceptor death after blunt ocular trauma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55(10):6350-7

Surey S, Berry M, Logan A, Bicknell R and Ahmed Z (2014) Differential cavitation, angiogenesis and wound-healing responses in injured mouse and rat spinal cords. Neuroscience 275:62-80

Vigneswara V, Akpan N, Berry M, Logan A, Troy CM and Ahmed Z (2014) Combined suppression of CASP2 and CASP6 protects retinal ganglion cells from apoptosis and promotes axon regeneration through CNTF-mediated JAK/STAT signalling. Brain 137(Pt 6):1656-75

Di Pietro V, Amorini AM, Tavazzi B, Vagnozzi R, Logan A, Lazzarino G, Signoretti S, Lazzarino G and Belli A (2014) The molecular mechanisms affecting N-acetylaspartate homeostasis following experimental graded traumatic brain injury. Mol Med 20:147-57

Ahmed Z, Bansal D, Tizzard K, Surey S, Esmaeili M, Gonzalez AM, Berry M and Logan A (2014) Decorin blocks scarring and cystic cavitation in acute and induces scar dissolution in chronic spinal cord wounds. Neurobiol Dis 64:163-76

Chan SY, Hancox LA, Martín-Santos A, Loubière LS, Walter MN, González AM, Cox PM, Logan A, McCabe CJ, Franklyn JA and Kilby MD (2014) MCT8 expression in human fetal cerebral cortex is reduced in severe intrauterine growth restriction. J Endocrinol 220(2):85-95

Expertise

Role of growth factors in scarring and neuron regeneration responses of injured mammalian brain and spinal cord; gene therapy to promote functional reconstruction of damaged neural pathways