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The Deneen Lab seeks to unlock the enigmatic biology surrounding glial cell development and function in the brain. Beginning with developmental gliogenesis, we identified the key transcriptional mechanisms controlling the initiation of gliogenesis in the embryonic CNS. Moving towards function, our recent endeavors focused on decoding the cellular and functional diversity of astrocytes in the adult brain. In both cases, we made fundamental observations about the nature of glial cells and directly applied these paradigms to relevant neurological diseases: brain tumors and white matter injury. Our view of neurological disease as a recapitulation of glial development has allowed us to make critical new observations into disease pathogenesis. Through this we have built an interdisciplinary research program that draws on paradigms from development, disease, physiology, and genomics to better understand the nature of glial cells in the brain.
Department of Neurosurgery & The Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine