Dr. Blesch is a Professor at the Center for Neural Repair in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He completed his PhD in Germany prior to postdoctoral training at UCSD. After advancing through the ranks to Associate Professor, he established the Laboratory for Neuroregeneration in the SCI Center at the University of Heidelberg, Germany building a program in biomaterials, stem cells and pain after SCI.
This program was further expanded at Indiana University. He recently returned to UCSD to take advantage of the collaborative environment and translational focus at the Center for Neural Repair.
Using clinically relevant models of SCI, his research aims to identify mechanisms that influence neuronal plasticity and regeneration in the injured spinal cord, and to discover new targets and techniques for therapeutic intervention.
Current studies investigate the role of neural stem cells, biomaterials and neuronal activity to improve functional recovery, and the structural changes underlying the development of pain.
His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from NIH, ISRT, Wings for Life, Craig H. Neilsen foundation, VA, German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Ludwig-Guttmann prize of the German SCI Society.