Dr Jan Kaslin
The Kaslin group focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control cellular plasticity in the intact and injured vertebrate brain. Neural stem cells and brain regeneration have been mostly studied in vertebrates (such as rodents) that have very limited regenerative potential. In contrast, we have found that zebrafish are able to regenerate parts of their brain and spinal cord even as adults. The zebrafish model is amenable to genetic and chemical screens, and in vivo imaging of cells in the intact animal. Thus we can tackle research questions in the zebrafish that cannot be answered using mammalian models. Furthermore, it allows us to study and reveal the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms that control neural regeneration in great detail. .Our long-term goal is to understand how and why tissue regeneration happens, and to use this knowledge to improve the poor regenerative capacity of human tissues like brain and spinal cord.