Neuroscience pioneer Dr. Mary Bunge dies at 92


Mary Bunge, PhD, a pioneer in studying spinal cord injuries and restoring movement to millions of paralyzed patients, has died at the age of 92, according to a March 4 report from The New York Times.

Dr. Bunge was a top female pioneer in the field of neuroscience, which has historically lacked diversity. 

For the majority of her career, Dr. Bunge focused on myelin — a mix of proteins and fatty acids that coats nerve fibers, protecting them and boosting the speed at which they conduct signals. 

She discovered that following injuries, myelin receded in a process called demyelination. Alongside her husband, she concluded that demyelination was one reason spinal cord injuries have been so difficult for the body to repair. 

The couple determined that myelin could be encouraged to regrow if the affected area was coated in transplanted Schwann cells and paired with drugs and other interventions to promote regeneration.

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