Neural stem cells are the fundamental building blocks of the vertebrate nervous system. But we now know the potential of these cells are much more! The discovery that populations of neural stem cells persist lifelong in ‘neurogenic niches’ of the CNS to produce newborn neurons has given rise to the fascinating field of adult neurogenesis. This relatively young field has progressed at a rapid pace, and along the way, taught us many lessons in the cellular composition of the vertebrate neurogenic niche, the cellular behavior and molecular control of neural stem cell populations, and most recently, the heterogeneous nature of neural stem cell populations.
The realization that neural stem cell populations are highly diverse across the CNS has proposed that distinct populations may serve different roles in tissue maintenance, learning, and repair. The research focus of the Lindsey Lab is to understand the context-dependent behaviour and regulation of distinct neural stem cell populations from birth to senescence, with learning and environmental interactions, and during the regenerative process following injury or with neurodegenerative disease. To achieve this goal, we take advantage of the highly neurogenic and highly regenerative zebrafish model.