From 2015 Federico Calegari is a Professor for Proliferation of Mammalian Neural Stem Cells and is the leader of his research team at CRTD – Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden. The field of their work is focused on Neurogenesis and development of neurons from Neural Stem Cells (NSC).
The goal of his teams is to understand the mechanisms underlying the expansion of NSC in order to control the generation of neurons in the mammalian brain. Controlling neurogenesis during development or adulthood is important not only to understand brain development and the role of adult neurogenesis in cognitive function but also to use NSC for brain recovery during aging, neurodegenerative disease or injury.
Prof. Calegari and his team found that the duration of G1 phase of the cell cycle plays a key role in the genesis of neural cells. They describe a system that allows the control of neural stem/progenitor cell (altogether referred to as NSC) expansion in the mouse embryonic cortex or the adult hippocampus by manipulating the expression of the cdk4/cyclinD1 complex, a major regulator of the G1 phase of the cell cycle and somatic stem cell differentiation. The team used two approaches for overexpression of the regulating complex in the NSC – the first one is via electroporation and highly concentrated HIV-derived viruses injected into the gyrus dentatus of the adult mouse hippocampus.