Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Johns Hopkins University
336 Garland Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
We developed a new genetic technology to label sparse number of putative stem cells in the adult murine hippocampus. By taking a “caught in action” approach we identified multiple modes of stem cell divisions including asymmetric divisions to produce the neuronal lineage, asymmetric divisions to produce the astroglia lineage, and novel symmetric divisions to expand the stem cell pool. By following these cells over time, we identified a number of clones that exhibited both self-renewal and multipotent differentiation; indicating that true stem cells exist in the adult mammalian brain. Lastly, we developed a PTEN knockout strategy to investigate mechanisms regulating stem cell properties.