Regulation of Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Maintenance and Differentiation

The central nervous system is staggeringly large and complex, with an estimated 100 billion neurons in the human brain and spinal cord.  The majority of these cells are formed through the neurogenic activities of neural stem and progenitor cells during embryonic development.  Our studies seek to understand the molecular pathways that regulate neural stem and progenitor cell expansion, maintenance, and differentiation to allow for the appropriate growth and morophogenesis of the nervous system.  We are further examining how defects in these processes contribute to neurodevelopmental and intellectual disabilities, as well as motor dysfunctions and cancer.