DNRF Chair: Professor Vijay Tiwari
October 2023 - September 2026
University of Southern Denmark
Gene Regulatory Mechanisms underlying Neural Fate Decisions and its Disruption in Neurological Disorders
Mammalian brain development involves highly complex and organized sets of events. One such key event is when neural stem and progenitor cells progressively switch from proliferative to differentiative divisions to generate different cell types such as neurons and glial cells that populate the cortical layers. Despite progress, the spatiotemporal regulation of this switch and its upstream transcriptional triggers remain poorly understood. This knowledge gap constitutes a major barrier to developing treatment for neurological disorders and efficient reprogramming approaches for regenerative therapeutics. Our previous work has elucidated the interplay between epigenetic mechanisms and transcription factors in shaping the gene regulatory landscape that drives distinct events during cortical development.
Building on these experiences and using a highly multidisciplinary approach, which combines neurobiology, epigenetics and computational biology, we currently aim to comprehensively reveal gene regulatory circuitry that defines distinct subpopulations of the cortex and how these subpopulations communicate with each other and contribute to the brain function.
Finally, we aim to decode how disruption of these layers of regulation predisposes for certain neurological disorders and whether their targeting can provide novel therapeutic avenues for these challenging conditions.