University of Dundee

"Intrinsic and systemic control of adult neurogenesis"

Event Date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 14:00 to 15:00
Event Location: 
CTIR Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray Seminar Room
Dr. Aida Rodrigo Albors
Event Speaker: 
Dr Noelia Urban
Institute of Molecular Biology, Vienna
Event Type: 



Noelia completed her Degree in Biology at the University Autónoma de Barcelona in 2004.  She went on to do her PhD in Neuroscience under the direction of Dr Canals at the University of Barcelona from 2004-2009.  She then undertook a PostDoc postion with the Guillemot Lab, National Institute for Medical Research in London form 2009-2014.  From 2014-2017 she was an investigator scientist with the Guillemot Lab, The Francis Crick Institute, London.  She then set up her own lab at IMBA Venna in October 2017.  Her lab are interested in how systemic metabolism controls neurogenesis. They want to determine how systemic stimuli influence the signaling pathways that regulate AHSC activity. Alterations in metabolism are known to affect stem cells in other tissues.  Intriguingly, metabolic disorders such as diabetes also have strong links with depression and cognitive disorders. Her first goal is to address how changes in systemic metabolism affect AHSC function.  Her lab uses mouse models of ageing, diabetes and caloric restriction in combination with transgenic mice to monitor the behavior of AHSCs in response to metabolic changes. Her lab are using in vivo genetic tools to label and/or disrupt specific genes in niche cells and then assess the response of stem cells, which will help them understand how AHSCs detect changes in their environment. They also explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the changes in AHSC behavior using in vitro models of murine and human neural stem cell quiescence. Finally, by using patient-derived lines her lab aim to elucidate how mutations and genetic variation affect human neural stem cell function. This in vitro approach also enables high-throughput screening to identify drugs that modulate adult neural stem cell functions. As a further tool to be able to investigate the interactions of the stem cells with the niche, they are increasing the complexity of our in vitro model by adding niche-like signals and structures, including 3D-scaffolding and local delivery of signaling molecules.