Regulation of In Vivo Neural Stem Cell Fate in the Embryonic and Adult Brains

Friday, May 22, 2015 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Su Guo

Professor in Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences
University of California, San Francisco

Regulation of In Vivo Neural Stem Cell Fate in the Embryonic and Adult Brains


Stem cells make the fate choices between self-renewal and differentiation. In the Adult tissues, they can also enter a dormant state called “quiescence”. In this talk, I will discuss our recent findings on the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern fate choice, employing embryonic and adult neural stem cells in zebrafish as a model.


I have a broad background in molecular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and neurobiology. I am interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate brain development and function. As a graduate student at Cornell University, I employed the invertebrate model organism C. elegans, and made significant contributions to the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) and the understanding of asymmetric cell divisions. After graduation, I became fascinated with how the brain works. As a Research Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral fellow at Genentech Inc., I carried out neurobiological studies of the development of brain monoamine neurotransmitter systems, using the vertebrate genetic model organism zebrafish. Our research at the University of California, San Francisco aims to understand how neural stem cells are regulated to generate complex brain structures, and how individual neurons contribute to intricate networks that regulate behavior. We strive to improve our basic knowledge of the brain and the mind, which will help understand and treat neuropsychiatric disorders.