Section of Neurobiology, Department of Physiological Sciences
[Scientific staff | Publications within DiMI | References]
The Section of Neurobiology at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center is specialized on studies on neurodegeneration and repair in the central nervous system. The section consists of 5 groups with a total of about 40 scientific and administrative staff, with the undersigned as director. Drs. Kirik and Bjorklund's research groups collectively comprise 20 people (4 post-docs, 6 PhD students, 1 research engineer, 4 technicians, and 3 adminstrative staff).
The current research in our groups is focused on (i) isolation, propagation and characterization of neural stem and progenitor cells for use in brain repair; (ii) cell replacement and functional recovery in animal models of neurodegenerative disease; (iii) gene delivery to the central nervous system using recombinant AAV and lentiviral vectors; (iv) targeted delivery of neurotrophic factors (especially GDNF) for neuroprotection and functional recovery in the brain; (v) development of a new rodent model of Parkinson's disease based on vector-mediated overexpression of -synuclein in the nigrostriatal system (vi) novel theraputic strategies in transgenic mouse models of HD.
The speciality of the lab is in vivo studies in rodent models of Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and dementia. This involves a battery of tests of rodent behaviours, techniques for neuroanatomical studies, including immunohistochemistry, tract tracing and in situ hybridization methods, and biochemical assays. The section has also state-of-the art cell culture facilities and an active vector core for development and production of viral vectors for in vivo use. Our center is one of the Marie-Curie training sites for where several PhD students from different EU countries have visited and worked as part of thesis projects. We plan and execute frequent lunch seminars (every 1-2 weeks) that are held jointly between different research groups within the center, most often with graduate students and post-docs as presenters. The Lund Neurobiology Club presents monthly seminars in the Neuroscience Center with prominent speakers, often invited from abroad. The group leaders have organised multiple international conferences over the past years, and any visiting scholar will be invited to participate in future conferences. Finally, we are actively involved in the leading European clinical cell transplantation program aimed at the development of cell based therapies for patients with Parkinson's disease.