One of the long-standing dogmas in neuroscience was that a mature mammalian nervous system is unable to generate and incorporate new neurons after birth. The relatively recent discovery of postnatal and adult neural stem cells in the rodent and human brains upended this notion. Not only do these adult neural stem cells generate new neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, their neuronal progeny continually integrate into functional circuits in the brain.
Laboratories in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program are actively working on the molecular pathways regulating these specialized stem cells in both health and disease. A better understanding of their function may lead to future therapies for patients suffering from brain injuries, as well as brain tumors.