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From mechanisms of neurogenesis to neural repair
Speaker: Professor Magdelena Gotz, Head of LMU Department of Physiological Genomics Helmholz Center Munich, Institute Stem Cell Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Research in the Gotz lab aims to elucidate the key mechanisms of neurogenesis in the developing and adult brain. In contrast to organs such as the skin, the small intestine or the hematopoietic system, most cells in the adult mammalian nervous system are permanently postmitotic, such as the neurons and the oligodendrocytes, and are not turned over nor regenerated once they die. Neurogenesis persists only in very few regions of the adult mammalian forebrain, and neurons degenerated after acute or chronic injury are not replaced in the adult mammalian brain. To overcome this, researchers at the Gotz lab study neurogenesis, for example when and where it works. Their aim is to reactivate these mechanisms and re-instruct neurogenesis after brain injury. Using their developmental knowledge about neurogenesis, they have pioneered the approach to generate new neurons by direct reprogramming from glial cells, first in vitro and then in vivo which has now become a world-wide very active field of research and an interesting approach for novel therapeutic approaches to brain repair (Barker et al., Nature 2018; Grade & Götz, Regen. Medicine 2017).