Professorship of Molecular Medicine focusing on Molecular Imaging
Neural stem cells continuously generate functional neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of the adult mammalian brain. Evidence is accumulating that adult neurogenesis is essential for hippocampus-dependent learning and memory processes as well as for the regulation of mood. Moreover, dysregulation of neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
Work in the Lie lab aims to identify the molecular and cell biological mechanisms controlling adult neurogenesis and neurogenesis-dependent plasticity. Current projects focus in particular on understanding the role of metabolism and cellular homeostasis in stem cell maintenance and on the identification of molecular pathways controlling the maturation and functional integration of adult-generated hippocampal neurons. Our laboratory is tackling these questions using an integrated in vivo and in vitro approach utilizing a combination of techniques in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, imaging, and mouse genetics.
Schematic representation of the development of a neural stem cell (left) into a functional dentate granule neuron (right) in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus.