Genetic engineering to cure spinal cord injuries

Associate Professor Yonglun Luo from Aarhus University has received an EU grant of more than DKK 2 million for his research into genetic engineering as a method to reduce inflammation and stimulate regeneration of injured spinal cord.

If Yonglun Luo and the international team succeed in their research project, the results could also be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Photo: Simon Byrial Fischel.

A spinal cord injury results in reduced or loss of functions such as mobility. Together with a team of international experts, Associate Professor Yonglun Luo from the Department of Biomedicine will develop a new treatment for spinal cord injuries using genetic engineering. Their goal is to develop a new method to safely and effectively deliver the genetic modification to the injured tissues.

Yonglun Luo and his colleagues will reduce inflammation of the spinal cord by using CRISPR/Cas9 proteins and RNA molecules which inhibit genes that induce inflammatory processes. In addition, they have ambitions to stimulate regeneration. By transplanting a CRISPR and biomaterial complex into the injured spinal genetic editing and reconstruction will take place.

The grant of DKK 2,025,000 million comes from the EU M-ERA.NET pool.


Associate Professor and PhD Yonglun Luo
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine and
Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus
Mobile: 22411944