Group leader: Jozsef Zoltan Kiss
Group name: Neuromorphology
Affiliation: Medical Sciences
We are interested in using neural stem/progenitor cells for the study of brain plasticity and neural repair. We seek to understand the molecular control of neural progenitor migration and to develop strategies to direct these cells to sites of injury to achieve structural repair. For this purpose, we developed cell-based in vitro models including organotypic cultures of the cerebral cortex, to analyze the migratory behavior of multipotential neural progenitors using video time-lapse microscopy. Additionally, we investigate the potential of implanted stem/progenitor cells to induce functional recovery in an animal model of neonatal ischemia. We focus on the somatosensory barrel cortex by taking advantage of a recently established methodology for epicranial multielectrode recordings of somatosensory evoked potential that allows for monitoring functional deficit and recovery after injury. Exploring new strategies to improve the integration of grafted cells into recipient host circuits, we employ lentivirus-based genetic engineering to introduce controllable expression of candidate molecules in transplanted cells. These studies are carried out in collaboration with various clinical departments within the framework of the in vivo platform we recently established in the Department.