The next talk in the School of Psychology Seminar Series will be held Friday the 24th at 3pm, room 303 of the McElwain Building Professor Perry Bartlett heads the new Queensland Brain Institute and his talk should give us some idea about what they are up to on the other side of campus. Since mind and behaviour are products of the brain this should not only be interesting to psychologists, but may even open opportunities for future collaboration.
Prof. Perry Bartlett
Director of the Queensland Brain Institute
Neurogenesis: A regulator of brain function
The production of neurons in the adult brain is now well documented to occur in a number of regions and to be influenced by external and disease processes. Although a precise functional role for these neurons has not been established, mounting evidence suggests it may underpin some higher-brain functions and has the potential to restore function following disease and mental illness. Thus, finding the key molecular regulators of neuronal production in the adult brain will provide both new insights onto this process and identify drug-candidates for the treatment of degenerative, traumatic and psychiatric diseases.
To identify these candidates we have purified the stem cell in the adult brain of rodents to near homogeneity (Rietze et al, Nature 2001) and analysed their expression profile by Affymetrix gene-microarray. We have identified two receptors expressed on the surface of the stem cell, LIFreceptor and the p75NTreceptor, and one on the progenitor cell, Growth Hormone receptor (Turnley et al, 2002 Nature Neuroscience) which appear to be involved in the regulation of neuronal production. The role of these receptors in regulating stem cell differentiation and neuron production will be discussed in detail.
(Photo courtesy of UQ News)