Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska institutet, Stockholm
Jonas Frisén received his MD (1991) and PhD (1993) degrees from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mariano Barbacid´s laboratory in Princeton, USA, 1995-7. He is the Tobias Foundation Professor of Stem Cell Research at the Karolinska Institute since 2001.
The central nervous system was traditionally considered static, with little exchange of cells. Today we know that there are neural stem cells in both the brain and spinal cord. Most of these stem cells are quiescent and do not produce new cells under physiological conditions. Neurons are, however, continuously added throughout life in two discrete regions in the adult brain in most mammals. The generation of new neurons in the adult brain serves to maintain a pool of neurons with unique properties, present for a limited time after their birth, which enable specific types of neural processing. We have taken advantage of the massive increase in atmospheric 14C by nuclear bomb testing during the cold war to birth date neurons, which has revealed a unique pattern of adult neurogenesis in humans. I will also describe how quiescent neural stem cells contribute to repair after central nervous system injuries.
Host: Leif Andersson
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