Science and research | Hermanson laboratory

We are interested in the development of the brain in health and disease, in particular brain regions involved in affective and cognitive processes.

We are specifically interested in molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of stem cell and progenitor characteristics and differentiation into functional neurons and other cell types, with implications for innate repair after damage, neurodevelopmental disorders, and susceptibility to psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease.

To investigate these topics, we use advanced molecular techniques, including genome-wide analyses of chromatin and biomedical engineering, and the most relevant cell types, as well as  translational collaborations with clinicians. 

Our activities can be divided into three main, overlapping branches:

  1. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of stem cell state and fate to generate functional systems for repair of a damaged nervous system, for example after surgery or irradiation, and increased understanding of psychiatric disease.
  2. Transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of tumor cell and cancer-derived stem cell state and fate, especially in adult glioblastoma and pediatric high-grade gliomas (e.g., DIPG/DMG) and medulloblastoma.
  3. Biomedical engineering, biomaterials, bioelectronics,  and studies of microenvironment to provide novel and improved approaches for stem and cancer cell biology and novel tools for clinical applications in neurological disorders and brain tumors.

We participate actively in several networks of neuroscience, cancer, bioengineering, stem cells, and regenerative medicine. In addition, we are dedicated fans of basic science and are involved in many outreach activities.