Our laboratory focuses on the biology of embryonic stem cells and neural stem cells. We are interested in defining mechanisms regulating neuronal and glial differentiation of stem/progenitor cells, and on understanding how growth factors promote neuronal and glial survival and phenotypic expression. These studies seek to identify the cytokines that regulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation, to define the intracellular signals that transduce their effects, and to understand how the effects of different growth factors are integrated by the progenitor cell. Although the principal focus of these studies is on definition of mechanisms underlying stem cell differentiation, a significant effort is also devoted to applying molecular neurobiology to clinical problems. Specifically we are developing techniques for the treatment of spinal cord injury and stroke.