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Associate Professor
Ph.D., Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1978

Stem cells; neurogenesis; imaging; signal transduction

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Our research is focused on stem cells and their contribution to tissue maintenance and regeneration, and on signals and mechanisms that control their quiescence, division, differentiation, and fate.

Our main interest is in stem cells of the adult brain.  Continuous production of new neurons is important for learning and memory, neural tissue repair, and mood regulation.  We work to understand how different factors – ranging from antidepressant therapies to aging and disease, affect adult neural stem cells and their progeny.  We are particularly interested in mechanisms that control stem cells’ quiescence and entry into division cycle. We have recently found that the pool of neural stem cells in the adult brain is continuously diminishing as a result of their astrocytic differentiation coupled to a burst of asymmetric divisions.  We are also working to identify stem and progenitor cell populations of neuroendocrine tissues and to define interactions between different types of stem cells that may help coordinate tissue growth and repair.

Furthermore, we study the multifunctional signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) for which we have discovered an essential role in organism development. We are working to dissect the interactions between NO and the signaling pathways that control cell division and differentiation.  Finally, we are working to develop non-invasive imaging approaches to monitor neurogenesis in the animal and human brain.

Selected Publications

Encinas, J.M., Michurina,T.V., Peunova, N., Tordo, J., Peterson, D.A., Fishell, G., Koulakov, A., and Enikolopov, G. 2011. Division-coupled astrocytic differentiation and age-related depletion of neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus. Cell Stem Cell 8: 566-579.

Méndez-Ferrer, S., Michurina, T.V., Ferraro, F., Mazloom, A., MacArthur, B., Lira, S.A., Scadden, D.T., Ma’ayan, A., Enikolopov, G., and Frenette, P.S. 2010. Stem cell pairs, mesenchymal and haematopoietic, form a unique niche in the bone marrow.  Nature 466: 829-834.

Gleiberman A.S., Michurina T., Encinas J.M., Roig J.L., Krasnov P., Balordi F., Fishell G., Rosenfeld M.G. and Enikolopov G. 2008. Genetic approaches identify adult pituitary stem cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105: 6332-6337.

Peunova N., Scheinker V., Ravi K. and Enikolopov G. 2007. Nitric oxide coordinates cell proliferation and cell movements during early development of Xenopus. Cell Cycle 6: 3132-3144.

Encinas J.M., Vaahtokari A. and Enikolopov G. 2006. Fluoxetine targets early progenitor cells in the adult brain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 8233-8238.