We study how neurons control their survival and death. Cell death by apoptosis occurs extensively during brain development and is seen in many pathological conditions such as after stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. In contrast, the inability of cells to undergo apoptosis is a fundamental hallmark of cancers. Therefore, understanding the mechanism by which survival and death is regulated is clinically important and has significant translational potential.
We study these mechanisms with molecular and cell biological approaches in primary neurons and human embryonic stem cells in culture, as well as in mouse models of neurodegeneration and brain tumor.