Bermans J. Iskandar

Bermans Iskandar
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
(608) 263-9651


M.D. University of Pennsylvania

Lab Website:

Research Strengths:

Development, Plasticity, RepairMolecular Neuroscience

Research Description:

The role of folic acid supplementation has proven to be extremely effective in preventing the occurrence of neural tube defects and other congenital abnormalities in humans. Because this suggests that folic acid can modulate or enhance key mechanisms for growth and differentiation in the CNS, our laboratory has been instrumental in hypothesizing and proving a significant role for folic acid in regeneration and repair of the adult CNS after injury. As part of an effort to study the mechanism of such a pro-regenerative response, we have shown that folate-mediated CNS regeneration depends on injury-related induction of folate receptor FOLR1 expression, intact intracellular folate activation, and a functional methylation cycle. The effect of folate on the regeneration of afferent spinal neurons is biphasic and dose-dependent, and correlates closely over its dose range with global and gene-specific DNA methylation, and with expression of both the folate receptor FOLR1 as well as the de novoDNA methyltransferases. As such, we hypothesize an epigenetic mechanism in CNS repair, and through our current laboratory efforts, we seek to understand the underpinnings of this mechanism and its implications. This work provides possible avenues for new pharmacologic approaches to treating brain and spinal cord injuries.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications