Molecular mechanisms regulating neural diversity

Temporally expressed genes within neural progenitors not only define neuronal identity and connectivity, but also determine their ultimate function. We have recently identified more than a dozen transcription factors and RNA-binding proteins expressed temporally in neural stem cells. We will investigate how individual temporal factors determine neural/glial identity and function.

Glial cell diversity and function

Glial cells once though to be just supporting cells outnumber neurons in our brain, yet we know very little about their development and function. Using adult Drosophila brain as a model system, we will address glial differentiation and function.

Hormones and Brain development

Previously we have shown that steroid hormone ecdysone regulates temporal gene transitions and neural diversity. However, the molecular mechanisms by which the hormonal signal exerts its function and changes the competency of neural stem cells remains to be elucidated.