Karin Forsberg Nilsson – Neural stem cells

Microscope image of neurons, astrocytes and neural stem cells
Neurons (red) and astrocytes (green)
from neural stem cells (blue‚ DAPI
nuclear stain.
                       Photo: K. Holmqvist

Stem cells are immature cells that build the individual during mammalian development, and contribute to maintaining and repairing our bodies throughout life. Our research group focuses on neural stem cells, which are the building blocks of our nervous system. We investigate how neural stem cells proliferate and differentiate and what factors governs these processes. This includes already known proteins as well as novel regulators of neural stem cells identified in the laboratory.

The study of neural stem cells increases our understanding of mammalian development and of stem cells in health and disease. It is of importance for neuro-oncology, since malignant brain tumours are believed to arise from immature neural cells acquiring mutations in growth regulatory pathways. Knowledge about neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation also gives a prospect for central nervous system repair. The research group conducts basic medical research, in collaboration with scientists and medical doctors from different research areas.

Read more about our research projects

Cartoon illustrating the question if neural stem cells or progenitor cells are brain tumour initiating cells
      Neural stem cells or progenitor cells as brain tumour initiating cells?
                                                                                               Cartoon: K. Forsberg Nilsson/T. Bergström