How a single population of stem cells is regulated to generate different cell types at successive developmental time points, is a fundamental question that has important implications for developmental biology and regenerative medicine. To address this question our aim is to unveil molecular principles that give cortical radial glia cells (RGCs) the competence to generate an array of distinct projection neurons, in a precis temporal order. To reach this goal, our strategy is to combine genome wide and functional experiments in RGCs to identify and characterize cortical lineage determinants and their non-coding cis-regulatory modules.
Another focus of the lab is to understand how stem cells in the nervous system are prevented from malignant transformation upon oncogenic events. To address this question, we are examining how the activation of intrinsic defence mechanisms are regulated in brain stem cells. We are also interested in understanding how tumour suppressor programs can be activated in human glioma stem cells. By elucidating how tumour suppressor response programs can be activated in glioma stem cells, the ultimate goal of this project is to find more efficient therapeutic approaches to defuse these cells.