The brains of aging humans are prone to neurodegenerative disorders and we are unable to counteract neuronal loss by regenerating lost cells. Patients with neurodegenerative conditions progressively loose neurons yet cannot form new neurons that would replace the lost ones – namely, we humans lack the proper “plasticity response”. We are using zebrafish and novel 3D human culture systems as models to investigate the vertebrate neural stem cells.
Zebrafish regenerates its brain successfully. Our goal is to learn from zebrafish how we can enable the human brain to better cope with neurodegenerative disease and regenerate.
The main motivation of our research group is to understand the molecular programs zebrafish brain uses to induce regenerative stem cell plasticity, and harness this knowledge to unlock the regenerative potential of our brains in Alzheimer’s disease conditions.