Xuenong Bo

Xuenong Bo

Title: Dr
MB, MSc, PhD
Non-clinical Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery

Xuenong Bo's research mainly focuses on promoting axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury. One line of his research is to manipulate the molecules in neurons and glial cells using gene-targeting techniques to change the neurons' regeneration capacity or to modify the environment in the central nervous system to facilitate axonal regeneration. The second line of research is to genetically modify Schwann cells to improve their survival and migration after transplantation into injured spinal cord. The third line of research is to study the roles of purinoceptors in the pathophysiological mechanisms of nerve injury and to develop new treatments for nerve injury.


Xuenong Bo trained in medicine and also completed a MSc in pharmacology in China. He joined the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology in University College London (UCL) as a Visiting Scientist in 1987 and obtained a PhD in neurobiology in 1992, supervised by Prof. Geoffrey Burnstock (FRS). He continued to work as a Research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow in UCL. He also spent one and half years in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge as a Visiting Fellow. From 1995 to 2001 he mainly based his lab work in the Wellcome Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology in UCL. In 2001 he moved to Institute of Molecular Physiology in the University of Sheffield, headed by Prof. Alan North (FRS). In 2002 he was appointed as a Non-Clinical Lecturer in the Academic Department of Neurosurgery in Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.


Recent and ongoing research projects

  • Induced expression of polysialic acid in Schwann cells to promote their survival and migration after transplantation into spinal cord.
  • Targeting a dominant negative form of Rho kinase into CNS neurons to enhance their regeneration capacity.
  • Induced expression of polysialic acid in spinal cord to facilitate axonal regeneration and neuroplasticity.
  • Promote central sensory axonal regeneration by injection of ATP into peripheral nerves.
  • Identification of purinoceptor subtypes responsible for ATP induced sensory axonal regeneration.


Bo X, Wu DS, Yeh J, Zhang Y. (2011) Gene therapy approaches to facilitate axonal regeneration after spinal cord and spinal root injuries. Curr Gene Ther 11:101-15.

Luo J, Bo X, Wu D, Yeh J, Richardson PM, Zhang Y. (2011) Promoting the survival, migration, and integration of transplanted Schwann cells by over-expressing polysialic acid. Glia 59: 424-434.

Wu D, Yang P, Zhang X, Luo J, Haque ME, Yeh J, Richardson PM, Zhang Y, Bo X. (2009) Targeting a dominant negative Rho kinase to neurons promotes axonal outgrowth and partial functional recovery after rat rubrospinal tract lesion. Mol Ther. 17: 2020-2030.

Richardson PM, Miao T, Wu D, Yeh, J, Zhang Y, Bo X. (2009) Responses of the nerve cell body to axotomy. Neurosurgery 65: Suppl A74-A79.

Zhang Y, Yeh J, Richardson PM, Bo X. (2008) Cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin superfamily in axonal regeneration and neural repair. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 26: 81-96.

Zhang Y, Zhang X, Wu D, Verhaagen J, Richardson PM, Yeh J, Bo X. (2007) Lentiviral-mediated expression of polysialic acid in spinal cord and conditioning lesion promote regeneration of sensory axons into spinal cord. Mol Ther. 15: 1796-1804.

Zhang Y, Ghadiri-Sani M, Zhang X, Richardson PM, Yeh J, Bo X. (2007) Induced expression of polysialic acid in the spinal cord promotes regeneration of sensory axons. Mol Cell Neurosci. 35: 109-119.

Zhang Y, Bo X, Schoepfer R, Holtmaat AJDG, Verhaagen J, Emson PC, Lieberman AR, Anderson PN. (2005) GAP-43 and L1 act synergistically to promote regeneration of Purkinje cell axons in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 102: 14883-14888.

View all Xuenong Bo's Research Publications at: http://www.researchpublications.qmul.ac.uk




BSc in Neuroscience (Intercalated)

Module Lead: Core Lab Methods

Topics for PhD supervision:

Axonal regeneration; neuroplasticity; cell transplantation; functions of purinoceptors in nerve injury and repair.

Further information

Honourary Professor of the Third Military Medical University, China.
Member of Genomic Modification Committee of Queen Mary University of London


Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma
Blizard Institute
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Blizard Building
4 Newark Street
E1 2AT

020 7882 2294
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