Chay Titus Kuo
Associate Professor of Cell Biology

We are interested in the regulation of postnatal/adult neural stem cells and how they modify brain homeostasis in health and disease. Throughout embryonic and postnatal development, neural stem cells give rise to differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes which modulate function of the adult nervous system. While during embryogenesis these progenitor cells are relatively abundant and help to construct the overall CNS architecture, during postnatal and adult periods they become restricted to specialized regions in the brain and produce progeny that participate in the modification of neural circuits and brain homeostasis. The work in my laboratory centers around understanding cellular pathways regulating postnatal/adult neural stem cells, using the rodent brain as a model system. Our current focus deals with how specialized environments in the brain (also called “niches”) sustain production of new neurons in vivo; how these microenvironments are changed in response to circuit-level inputs; and how injury modifies neural stem cell proliferation/differentiation. A better understanding of these processes may lead to future therapies for patients suffering from pre/postnatal brain injuries.

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