The hippocampus, a key brain area for memory function, changes dramatically in response to both beneficial and detrimental stimuli. Our lab focuses on the role of hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) in modulating the hippocampal response to environmental stimuli. We are especially interested in how the secretome of NSPC can help define plastic versus pathological responses in the adult hippocampus.
We use a variety of techniques to probe the function of NSPCs, including:
- Transgenic mouse models to specifically manipulate gene expression in spatially and temporally defined cell populations
- In vitro modeling of NSPCs
- Gene expression quantification assays, including real time qPCR and RNAseq
- Protein expression quantification assays, including ELISA, western blots, immunohistochemical staining
- Cellular phenotyping and quantification, using fluoresence microscopy, confocal microscopy
- Behavioral assays of cognitive and emotional function
Kirby lab mission statement
Our goal as a lab is to reveal new insight in to the biology of the brain using empirical approaches, to provide a welcoming and rigorous training environment for dedicated scientists, and to improve the world around us through the discovery and dissemination of scientific knowledge.