Diane Lagace

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Diane Lagace
Assistant Professor

Room: Rm. 3510G RGN
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 6482
Work E-mail: dlagace@uottawa.ca

Diane Lagace

Biography

Lab Summary

The discovery of adult neurogenesis and the advances of stem cell research have immense clinical implications for a wide variety of human pathologic conditions. The benefits of this research include the potential for novel therapeutics targeted at cellular replacement or repair, as well as hope for neuroprotective strategies aimed at maintaining cellular plasticity. In order to accomplish these clinical goals, we are interested in defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie stem cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation, and ultimately integration into existing neural and synaptic circuits.

Many physiological and pathological activities have been identified to alter the number of dividing cells in the adult brain, yet the factors that produce neuronal differentiation and ultimately survival of new neurons remain largely unknown. We use a variety of molecular, cellular, histochemical, and behavioral techniques to identify and elucidate novel mediators of adult neurogenesis. For example, we previously identified that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) regulates the maturation of adult-generated neurons using multiple transgenic mouse models and an in vivo viral-mediated knockout approach. Current work in the lab is delineating the molecular mechanisms that regulate the activity and downstream effects of Cdk5 in neurogenesis. We are also interested the functional role of adult neurogenesis in normal physiology, as well as optimizing functional recovery in animal models closely resembling human disease. For example, in models of stroke there is a pronounced birth of new cells and we are interested in determining where these cells arise and whether they are functionally important in behavioral recovery. With an eye on potential clinical applications, these lines of investigation will afford insights into basic biological processes that underlie the regulation of the potentially powerful adult generated neuron.

The laboratory offers opportunities to people at all stages of training and professional development. If you are interested in pursuing a position as an honors student, graduate student, post-doctoral fellow please feel free to submit your current C.V. to us either electronically ( dlagace@uottawa.ca) or by regular mail at the address above.

Keywords:

adult neurogenesis, stroke, Alzheimer's, behavior, mood disorders

Fields of Interest

  • Defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie stem cell proliferation, neuronal differentiation and ultimately integration into existing neural and synaptic circuits
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