Cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating neural stem cell fate determination.
How is cell diversity generated during nervous system development? Answering this question is key to developing safe and efficient cell replacement therapies for neurodegenerative diseases using stem cells. Our group uses the mouse retina as a model system to study how the different neuronal cell types are produced from a common pool of multipotent progenitor cells. We use live imaging, mouse genetics, genomics, and proteomics approaches to study cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell fate decisions. Specifically, we are interested in addressing the following questions: How do neural progenitors divide asymmetrically to produce two different daughter cells? How do neural progenitors alter their fate output over time during neurogenesis? How does the neural retina develop into a precisely layered tissue? How do neurons adopt their unique morphology? How can we use stem cell-derived neurons for regenerative purposes?
Keywords: neural progenitors, stem cells, cell fate decision, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, retina, photoreceptors, vision, cell therapy