Neurogenesis and cancer in a small brain
Welcome to the first CanCell seminar scheduled for Friday 9th of February at 14:15 hrs.
Speaker: Rita Sousa Nunes, Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College London
Neurogenesis and cancer in a small brain by Rita Sousa Nunes
Our lab is interested in neurogenesis and also what can go wrong that can lead to neural tumours. We are interested in how neural stem cells (NSCs) can be switched on and off (quiescence regulation), how we might “dial up” neurogenesis safely and usefully for therapeutic purposes, what can make the difference between proliferation expansion and tumour initiation and, finally, once a tumour is formed, how its interaction with the microenvironment might promote or curb tumour growth. We use Drosophila as a model for most of our research. Drosophila NSCs have pioneered insights into mechanisms of asymmetric division, tumourigenesis, regulation of quiescence, NSC subjection to nutritional checkpoints, and the concept of an intrinsic temporal series that determines neuronal identity as well as NSC properties (such as entry into quiescence and terminal division) over time. I will present a proof-of-principle study concerning in vivo generation of supernumerary neurons capable of circuit integration and introduce a new genetic tool we have engineered in order to generate reproducible tumours (with spatiotemporal control and thus consistent size) to investigate tumour microenvironment interactions quantitatively.