Research topic: The Use of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells for Understanding Human Nervous System Development, Neurodegeneration, and the Origin of Brain Tumors. Our lab is interested in understanding the formation of tissues during human embryogenesis and the maintenance of these tissues throughout adulthood. Our main focus is on nervous system development. We are specifically interested in understanding: How stem cells decide on their fate? How stem cells form tissues? How stem cells keep their differentiation potential throughout our lifetime? How defects in stem cells cause disease? How stem cells are related to the development of tumors and cancer?
Research methods: We use state of the art methodologies, techniques and equipment: transgenic human embryonic stem cell lines, manipulation of stem cells in culture and perform gain and loss of function studies. We transplant stem cells into blastocysts and adult animal models. We also use our own two-photon laser-scanning microscope to perform 3D live imaging of our transgenic stem cell lines, and use bioinformatic approaches to analyze their behavior.