Martin E. Schwab

University Zurich, Switzerland

Martin E. Schwab, PhD, hon. MD, is emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Zurich and the Dept. of Health Sciences and Technology of ETH Zurich. He is also the CSO, founder and President of the Board of the UZH spin-off company Novago Therapeutics Inc. He studied biology in Basle and was a postdoc at Harvard Medical School and the Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology (Munich). He joined the Brain Research Institute and the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich as professor and co-director in 1985.

His research focuses on the mechanisms of structural and functional plasticity and repair of the injured brain and spinal cord. He pioneered the concept of specific inhibitors of neurite growth as a cause of the absent regeneration of injured fiber tracts in the brain and spinal cord. With his group he isolated the membrane protein Nogo-A and showed that Nogo-A neutralization leads to enhanced fiber sprouting, regeneration and plasticity and increased functional recovery after spinal cord or brain injuries in adult rats and monkeys. These results led to currently on-going clinical trials in acute spinal cord injured patients.