Prof. Michael Brand

Date(s) - Friday, November 1, 2013
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm


10 people are going

Seminar Room 8


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Prof Michael Brand is a Plumer fellow at St. Anne’s, a prominent developmental neurobiologist and director of a stem cells institute in Dresden.


Stem Cells and Regeneration Research: opportunities for an informed approach to disease

A fundamental problem in neurobiology is how the multitude of different cells of the brain is generated from their precursors, or stem cells. My laboratory studies the underlying mechanisms during vertebrate brain development and regeneration.


In contrast to mammals, the central nervous system (CNS) of adult zebrafish retains a large number of active neural stem/progenitor cells producing numerous new neurons of different subtypes in discrete spatial domains. Moreover, the adult zebrafish CNS has a spectacular ability to regenerate after severe lesions. Combined with well-developed genetic and molecular biology tools, it therefore provides an ideally tractable system for understanding recruitment of stem cells during normal homeostasis and in the context of regeneration.


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Using various CNS lesion paradigms, transgenesis, Cre/loxP technology and next generation sequencing we investigate which genes and pathways regulate adult neural stem cell activity and their ability to repair damage. We also address how the distribution of organizer-associated signalling molecules is propagated in the embryonic and adult CNS controlling the formation and maintenance of compartment boundaries.


Our studies provide clues on how CNS regeneration can be stimulated also in mammalian brains and pave the way for stem cell based regenerative therapies against acute as well as chronic brain injury.


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