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Methods Collections

Model systems for nervous system development and regeneration

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Methods Collections
Model systems for nervous system development and regeneration

Guest Editors
Jürgen Knoblich

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology

Jürgen Knoblich, PhD is the Scientific Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy…

Elly Tanaka

Institute of Molecular Pathology

Elly Tanaka is a Senior Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP). Tanaka was born in Boston,…

Collection Overview

Our brain is the most complex organ in our body. Models systems like the fruit fly, mouse, and axolotl have offered invaluable insights into central nervous system development and neurodegeneration. Due to cross-species limitations, the field has recently exploited induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and 3D organoid technologies to study neurogenesis in vitro.

Stem cells are fundamentally important for the formation and function of complex multicellular organisms. They are commonly defined by their ability to self-renew and to produce more specialized daughter cells that ultimately undergo terminal differentiation. The possibility to derive neuronal cells from embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells provides a unique opportunity to study neurodevelopment and neuropathology.

The central goal of this collection is to pull together the methods used to break new ground in dissecting the mechanisms that regulate neural progenitors and stem cells in order to generate the huge diversity of neurons found in the central nervous system. We hypothesize that proper integration of extrinsic signals and changes in the internal state of neural stem cell lineages and neuronal subtypes are critical for the establishment of neural circuits and a functional nervous system. We aim at characterizing the mechanisms that regulate neural stem cell identity and analyzing how they are modulated by extrinsic factors and during regeneration.

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