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Mechanisms of cortical neurogenesis

Setsuko Sahara

Setsuko Sahara


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Our research focus is the development of the mammalian neocortex, which is the control centre of our behaviour, thought and intellectual abilities. The neocortex is composed of hundreds of different types of neurons and glia, and decoding the mechanisms regulating the self-renewal capacity and competency of cortical progenitors is crucial to understanding how our brains undergo healthy development and what happens to the brain in psychiatric disorders, and how we could develop novel strategies to regenerate damaged nervous system.

Specifically we are currently working on three projects Transcriptional identity of multipotent or subtype-restricted progenitors, Molecular controls determining self-renewing and neurogenic potentials of progenitors, and Reconstruction of human neuronal structures from ES/iPS cells.

Selected publications

Sahara S, Yanagawa Y, O'Leary DD, Stevens CF (2012) The fraction of cortical GABAergic neurons is constant from near the start of cortical neurogenesis to adulthood. J Neurosci 32: 4755-61
Kawakami Y, Marti M, Kawakami H, Itou J, Quach T, Johnson A, Sahara S, O'Leary DD, Nakagawa Y, Lewandoski M, Pfaff S, Evans SM, Izpisua Belmonte JC (2011) Islet1-mediated activation of the ?-catenin pathway is necessary for hindlimb initiation in mice. Development 138: 4465-73