Ian Duncan is a Scotsman with the iron discipline and stamina of a competitive marathoner, triathlete and cross-country skier. As a neuroscientist at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he’s applied his tenacity to a rare genetic disorder.
White areas in the brain of a healthy dog show axons (neural conductive fibers) with normal myelin sheathing (white) are pictured. The brain of a dog that models a genetic disease called Pelizaeus Merzbacher shows a total absence of myelin insulation. Studies in the lab of Ian Duncan at the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggest myelin may slowly develop in the spinal cord but not brain in this often-fatal disease.