Thomas Perlmann's Group
Thomas Perlmanns group is interested in how specific cell types of the central nervous system are generated and how they are maintained. The group is mostly focusing on neurons using dopamine as its neurotransmittor and uses mouse as the predominant experimental system.
The vast complexity of the central nervous system raises challenging questions concerning the specification and differentiation of specific types of neurons. Dopamine neurons in the midbrain are clinically important cells that degenerate in patients with Parkinsons disease and are also implicated in other neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Thomas Perlmanns group is interested in unraveling the signaling and transcriptional regulation that govern the specification, differentiation and maintenance of these cells. The studies have resulted in the identification of several transcription factors with key roles in these processes. The projects are focused on understanding functions in both early specification events and in maintenance of dopamine neurons. Moreover, the research group is also interested in regenerative medicine in relation to Parkinsons disease and other disorders and they are utilizing knowledge about transcriptional control of neuron specification in stem cell engineering of clinically relevant cell types.
Essential role for DNA-PK-mediated phosphorylation of NR4A nuclear orphan receptors in DNA double-strand break repair.
Genes Dev. 2011 Oct;25(19):2031-40
Specific and integrated roles of Lmx1a, Lmx1b and Phox2a in ventral midbrain development.
Development 2011 Aug;138(16):3399-408
Transcription factor-induced lineage selection of stem-cell-derived neural progenitor cells.
Cell Stem Cell 2011 Jun;8(6):663-75
Efficient production of mesencephalic dopamine neurons by Lmx1a expression in embryonic stem cells.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 May;106(18):7613-8
Identification of intrinsic determinants of midbrain dopamine neurons.
Cell 2006 Jan;124(2):393-405