Targeting neural stem cells to promote regeneration
New neurons are added to discrete regions of the brain, known as the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs, throughout life. Whether neurogenesis can be induced in other areas of the adult central nervous system in response to injury, and whether those neurons can integrate into the brain circuitry remains controversial. We are studying a population of multipotent neural stem cells that reside in a region of the brain known as the cortex. These stem cells can be activated and divide when grown in the presence of certain growth factors in culture. We are currently examining whether they can be activated to repair the brain following injury. This is particularly important as the cortex is a brain region often severely affected by stroke and traumatic brain injury, so understanding how these cells can be activated to generate neurons will be particularly importance to improving patient recovery.
This project is a research collaboration with AProf James Bourne (Monash University) and Dr Tobias Merson (University of Melbourne).
- Dr Kaylene Young