Diego Marques Coelho

Our laboratory is dedicated to the study of cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for controlling proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitors during development of the cerebral cortex and adult neurogenesis. Using contemporary techniques of molecular biology to manipulate gene expression in neural progenitors or neurons, we investigate the roles of different proteins and signaling pathways in neuronal and glial specification, as well as on neuronal survival and differentiation both in the developing brain and adult cerebral cortex after ischemic or traumatic injuries such as cerebral infarction. We also use techniques of cell transplantation to study the origins of stem cells in the adult brain and to evaluate the effect of environment on the differentiation of neural progenitors. The effects of gene manipulation and cell transplantation described above are evaluated using different techniques, including electrophysiology, behavioral and microscopic analysis. Among the later, we highlight the video time-lapse microscopy, which allows the study of various cellular phenomena in real time, both in vitro (phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy) and in situ (two-photon microscopy).