Loss of neurons in the adult brain can happen through injury and disease and may lead to devastating, often irreversible, results. An emerging field in biology aspires to reconstitute lost groups of neurons through the activation of stem cells, which exist in many body tissues including the brain. Repopulation of the damaged area by stem cells progenies is thought to hold the potential to promote recovery of lost function. At the same time, misregulated proliferation of stem cells may lead to tumour growth and metastasis. In order to both effectively utilise stem cells to fight the consequences of neuronal loss, and to prevent their misuse through cancer, researchers are now focusing on understanding the mechanisms that control stem cell activation and specialisation.

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Main Interests

How adult stem cells can switch from being dormant to actively dividing in situations relevant for tumor formation or tissue regeneration after injury

Methods

Genetics, RNA-sequencing, Confocal microscopy, Behavioural assays

Models and Regions

Entire brain / Fruit fly

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AFFILIATION

Champalimaud Foundation

Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown

Avenida Brasília, 1400-038 Lisbon, Portugal

T (+351) 210 480 200

christa.rhiner(at)research.fchampalimaud.org

FUNDING