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Development & Stem Cell Biology

We are interested in the lineage steps in the development of the mammalian brain from totipotent  embryonic stem (blastocyst) cells to neural stem cells to more restricted neural progenitor cells that make neurons and glia. Of particular interest are the earliest steps in the production of self-renewing neural stem cells from mouse embryonic stem cells, in terms of discovering novel and testing candidate neural determination genes. Neural stem cells also are present in adult and even elderly mammalian brains, and these stem cells are being localized in adult brains and being characterized in terms of their proliferative kinetics and growth factor requirements in vivo and in vitro. Finally adult neural stem cells can produce new neurons and glia in adult mammalian brains in vivo and we are testing the ability of these new cells to re-establish function in animal models of human neurological disorders.  

Development & Stem Cell Biology is divided up into several areas of interest:

  Asymterical Division
  Retinal Stem Cells
  Pancreatic Stem Cells
  Cell Lineage and Brain Development

Project Researchers


**Photo Credit: Brenda Coles-Takabe - depicts transplanted human retinal stem cells into a developing mouse eye, showing integration and differentiation into both photoreceptor and retinal pigmented epithelial cell types after 30 day survival in vivo. **