Yuzhi Chen, Ph.D.


Research description

Neural stem cells are present in the adult central nervous system of all mammals, including humans. These stem cells hold great potential for the treatment of disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. We are interested in understanding the function of neddylation during stem cell development from proliferation to differentiation and cell fate determination. We hope to identify the components of the neddylation pathway that may differentially regulate stem cell development into neuronal cell types or tumorgenic cells. Another focus of this project is to understand how environmental factors such as inflammatory factors, hypoxia, and UV irradiation will influence stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

Graphic showing confocal analysis of hippocampal stem cells isolated from adult mice.

Confocal analysis of hippocampal stem cells isolated from adult mice. These progenitor cells are positive for nestin, a core intermediate filament protein essential for proper cytoskeletal formation during neurogenesis. In this culture, some cells also express the astrocyte marker S100β.