Megan C. Wright

Professor, Biology

Boyer 226 1 (267) 620-4827 Please email

Research Summary

Dr. Wright’s general research interests are related to how glial cells and neurons communicate following injury, during development and in association with certain disease states. Using a variety of approaches including standard biochemical and molecular assays, in vitro models, and in vivo rodent models, Dr. Wright studies how Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system and astrocytes in the central nervous contribute to nervous system disease and functional recovery following injury.

Peer-reviewed Primary Manuscripts (*indicates Arcadia University students)


  1. L Cheng, A Sami, B Ghosh, MW Urban, GM Smith, MC Wright, S Li, AC Lepore. LAR inhibitory peptide promotes multiple forms of respiratory neural circuit plasticity and recovery of diaphragm function after cervical spinal cord injury. Neurobiology of Disease. In Press
  2. ED Gomes, B Ghosh, M Goulão, MW Urban, J Severa, SS Mendes, RC Assunção-Silva, FG Teixeira, AO Pires, SI Anjo, B Manadas, H Leite-Almeida, MC Wright, JM Gimble, N Sousa, NA Silva, AJ Salgado, AC Lepore. Combination of a gellan gum-based hydrogel with cell therapy for the treatment of cervical spinal cord injury. Frontiers in Bioengineering. 2020 Aug 26; 8:984
  3. Rothhaas SJ**, Wright MC, Swanson C. Using Drosophila Motor Mutants to Teach Neurodevelopment in an Undergraduate Neurobiology Lab. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE), Spring 2020, 18(2)
  4. Urban MW, Ghosh B, Block CG, Charsar BA, Smith GM, Wright MC, Li S, Lepore AC. Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ Inhibitory Peptide Promotes Recovery of Diaphragm Function and Sprouting of Bulbospinal Respiratory Axons after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2020 Feb 1;37(3):572-579.


  1. Bisetto S, Wright MC, Nowak RA, Lepore AC, Khurana TS, Loro E, Philp NJ. New Insights into the Lactate Shuttle: Role of MCT4 in the Modulation of the Exercise Capacity. iScience. 2019 Dec 20;22:507-518
  2. Charsar BA, Brinton MA, Locke K, Chen AY, Ghosh B, Urban MW, Komaravolu S, Krishnamurthy K, Smit R, Pasinelli P, Wright MC, Smith GM, Lepore AC. AAV2-BDNF promotes respiratory axon plasticity and recovery of diaphragm function following spinal cord injury. The FASEB Journal. 2019 Dec;33(12):13775-13793.
  3. Urban MW, Ghosh B, Block CG, Strojny LR, Charsar BA, Goulão M, Komaravolu SS, Smith GM, Wright MC, Li S, Lepore AC. Long-Distance Axon Regeneration Promotes Recovery of Diaphragmatic Respiratory Function after Spinal Cord Injury. eNeuro. 2019 Sep 26;6(5)
  4. Ghosh B, Nong J, Wang Z, Urban MW, Heinsinger NM, Trovillion VA, Wright MC, Lepore AC, Zhong Y. A hydrogel engineered to deliver minocycline locally to the injured cervical spinal cord protects respiratory neural circuitry and preserves diaphragm function. Neurobiology of Disease. 2019 Apr 25;127:591-604.
  5. Goulão M, Ghosh B, Urban MW, Sahu M, Mercogliano C, Charsar BA, Komaravolu S, Block CG, Smith GM, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Astrocyte progenitor transplantation promotes regeneration of bulbospinal respiratory axons, recovery of diaphragm function, and a reduced macrophage response following cervical spinal cord injury. Glia. 2019 Mar;67(3):452-466




  1. Ghosh, B., Wang, Z., Nong, J., Urban, M., Zhang, Z., Trovillion,v., Wright MC,  Zhing, Y., Lepore, AC. Local BDNF delivery to the injured cervical spinal cord using an engineered hydrogel enhances diaphragmatic respiratory function. Journal of Neuroscience. 2018 Jun 27;38(26):5982-5995
  2. Urban MW; Ghosh B., Strojny L.; Block CG. Blazejewski, SM, Wright MC, Smith GM, Lepore AC. Cell-type specific expression of constitutively-active Rheb promotes regeneration of bulbospinal respiratory axons following cervical SCI. Experimental Neurology. 2018 May;303:108-119


  1. Zigler JS Jr, Hodgkinson CA, Wright MC, Klise A, Sundin O, Broman KW, Hejtmancik F, Huang H, Patek B, Sergeev Y, Hose S, Brayton C, Xaiodong J, Vasquez D, Maragakis N, Mori S, Goldman D, Hoke A, Sinha D. A Spontaneous Missense Mutation in Branched Chain Keto Acid Dehydrogenase Kinase in the Rat Affects Both the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 29;11.


  1. Li K, Javed E, Scura D, Hala TJ, Seetharam S, Falnikar A, Richard JP, Chorath A, Maragakis NJ, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Human iPS cell-derived astrocyte transplants preserve respiratory function after spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology. 2015 Jul 26;271:479-492
  2. **Martin, M., Li, K, Wright, MC, Lepore, AC. Functional and morphological assessment of diaphragm innervation by phrenic motor neurons. Journal of Visual Experiments. 2015 May 25; 99.
  3. Li K, Hala TJ, Seetharam S, Poulsen DJ, Wright MC, Lepore AC. GLT1 overexpression in SOD1G93A mouse cervical spinal cord does not preserve diaphragm function or extend disease. Neurobiology of Disease. 2015 June.
  4. Li K, Javed E, Hala TJ, Sannie D, Regan KA, Maragakis NJ, Wright MC, Poulsen DJ, Lepore AC. Transplantation of Glial Progenitors That Overexpress Glutamate Transporter GLT1 Preserves Diaphragm Function Following Cervical SCI. Molecular Therapeutics. 2015 Mar;23(3):533-48


  1. Li K, Nicaise C, Sannie D, Hala TJ, Javed E, **Parker JL, Putatunda R, Regan KA, Suain V, Brion JP, Rhoderick F, Wright MC, Poulsen DJ, Lepore AC. Overexpression of the astrocyte glutamate transporter GLT1 exacerbates phrenic motor neuron degeneration, diaphragm compromise, and forelimb motor dysfunction following cervical contusion spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuroscience. 2014 May 28;34(22):7622-38.
  2. Wright MC, Mi R, Connor E, Reed N, Vyas A, Alspalter M, Coppola G, Geschwind DH, Brushart TM, Höke A. Novel roles for osteopontin and clusterin in peripheral motor and sensory axon regeneration. Journal of Neuroscience. 2014 Jan 29;34(5):1689-700.


  1. Brushart TM, Aspalter M, Griffin JW, Redett R, Hameed H, Zhou C, Wright MC, Vyas A, Höke A. Schwann cell phenotype is regulated by axon modality and central-peripheral location, and persists in vitro. Experimental Neurology. 2013 May 21;247C:272-281.
  2. C Nicaise, D Frank, T Hala, M Authelet, R Pochet, JP Brion, MC Wright and AC Lepore. Early phrenic motor neuron loss and transient respiratory abnormalities following unilateral cervical spinal cord contusion. Journal of Neurotrauma. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jun 15;30(12):1092-9.


  1. Nicaise C, Putatunda R, Hala TJ, Regan KA, Frank DM, Brion JP, Leroy K, Pochet R, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Degeneration of Phrenic Motor Neurons Induces Long-Term Diaphragm Deficits following Mid-Cervical Spinal Contusion in Mice. Journal of Neurotrauma. 2012 Dec 10;29(18):2748-60
  2. Nicaise C, Hala TJ, Frank DM, **Parker JL, Authelet M, Leroy K, Brion JP, Wright MC, Lepore AC. Phrenic motor neuron degeneration compromises phrenic axonal circuitry and diaphragm activity in a unilateral cervical contusion model of spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology. 2012 Jun;235(2):539-52


  1. MC Wright, A Kim, YJ Son. Subcutaneous administration of muscarinic antagonists and triple-immunostaining of the Levator auris longus muscle in mice. The Journal of Visual Experiments. 2011;(55). pii: 3124


  1. AC Lepore, C Tolmie, J O’Donnell, MC Wright, C Dejea, B Rauck, A Hoke, AR Ignagni, RP Onders and NJ Maragakis, Peripheral Hyperstimulation Alters Site of Disease Onset and Course in SOD1G93A Rats. Neurobiology of Disease. 2010 Sep;39(3):252-64.


  1. MC Wright, S Potluri, X Wang, E Dentcheva, D Gautam, A Tessler, J Wess, and YJ Son. Distinct muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes contribute to stability and growth, but not compensatory plasticity, of neuromuscular synapses. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2009 Nov 25;29(47):14942-55.

* Image from manuscript selected for cover image


  1. MC Wright, WJ Cho, YJ Son.  Distinct patterns of motor nerve terminal sprouting induced by ciliary neurotrophic factor vs. botulinum toxin.  Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2007; Sep 1;504(1):1-16.

                        * Image from manuscript selected for cover image

  1. MC Wright, YJ  Son.  Ciliary neurotrophic factor is not required for terminal sprouting and compensatory reinnervation of neuromuscular synapses: re-evaluation of CNTF null mice. Experimental Neurology 2007;Jun;205(2):437-48.