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Dr. Fawcett's Lab work concerns the role of extracellular matrix proteoglycans in the central nervous system. In the damaged CNS, they are trying to understand how axonal growth is inhibited by the increased expression of inhibitory proteoglycans, and how to overcome this inhibition. They work on how to increase the intrinsic regenerative potential of axons, using integrin engineering and local protein translation. In addition, plasticity is turned off in adults by extracellular matrix structures called perineuronal nets. They work on the actions of these structures, and methods to modulate their function so as to improve functional recovery and memory in the adult CNS.