Website: Mahmud Bani's Lab
Brain injury is among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Every year thousands of people suffer from brain injuries and develop motor, sensory and cognitive problems as a result of neuronal loss in the brain. Unfortunately, the damaged brain has a limited ability to enact repair; and current modes of treatment are not sufficient to offset the damage. At present, two main approaches have been recognized as viable therapeutic avenues to combat the neuronal loss and impaired innervations in the damaged region: stimulation of neural stem cells in the damaged brain to form new neurons, and implantation of cells with neuroregenerative potential.
In our laboratory, we have employed complementary approaches to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurogenesis, and to develop cell and factor delivery methods for brain repair. We have shown that neural stem and progenitor cells use integrated intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as Sox2, Notch and BMP to control cell fate and neuronal differentiation in the brain. As one of the earliest and most essential transcription factors expressed in the nervous system, Sox2 plays a key role in neurogenesis through poorly defined cross-talks with the Notch and BMP signaling pathways.
We will continue to further evaluate endogenous neurogenesis and use this knowledge to develop neuroregeneretive strategies for the injured brain.
Recent Stem Cell Publications:
Jezierski A, Gruslin A, Tremblay R, Ly D, Smith C, Turksen K, Sikorska M, Bani-Yaghoub M (2010) Probing stemness and neural commitment in human amniotic fluid cells. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 6(2):199-214.
Bani-Yaghoub M, Kubu CJ, Cowling R, Rochira J, Nikopoulos G, Bellum S and Verdi JM (2007) A switch in Numb isoforms is a critical step in cortical development. Developmental Dynamics, 236, 696-705.
Bani-Yaghoub M, Tremblay RG, Lei JX, Zhang D, Zurakowski B, Sandhu JK, Smith B, Ribecco-Lutkiewicz M, Kennedy J, Walker PR and Sikorska M (2006) Role of Sox2 in the development of the neocortex. Developmental Biology, 295(1):52-66.