The Neuro Team
Stefano Stifani PhD
More specifically, Dr. Stifani's investigations are aimed at characterizing the mechanisms that regulate:
1) neuron and glial cell differentiation from undifferentiated, pluripotent neural stem/progenitor cells;
2) neuron subtype development and function.
To achieve their goals, they have focused on the forebrain (i.e., telencephalon) and spinal cord as experimental model systems. Their studies employ a combination of i) in vivo genetic approaches using knock-out or transgenic mice, ii) in vivo assays in genetically manipulated chick embryos, iii) in vitro proliferation and differentiation assays using primary cultures of mouse neural progenitor/stem cells, and iv) biochemical investigations.
Dr. Stifani hopes that his studies will clarify events that underlie neural cell birth, development and function in the mammalian nervous system. Improved knowledge of those mechanisms will suggest strategies to manipulate the differentiation potential of multipotent neural stem/progenitor cells and/or promote the specification/survival of selected neuronal lineages. These strategies may facilitate the design of approaches to promote the repair of the adult nervous system in response to trauma or disease.