Arnold KriegsteinEli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 08 July 2008)
Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco
Born in Germany, Kriegstein received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his MD and PhD degrees from New York University in 1977 where his thesis advisor was Dr Eric Kandel. He subsequently completed Residency training in Neurology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston
Board of Trustees Member, Gordon Research Conferences Inc
Dr Kriegstein's research focuses on the way in which neural stem and progenitor cells in the embryonic brain produce neurons, and ways in which this information can be used for cell based therapies to treat diseases of the nervous system. The process by which neurons are born and migrate to the cortex is of fundamental importance to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders many of them associated with epilepsy. Findings from Dr Kriegstein's laboratory reveal that embryonic neuronal stem cells appear to be highly interactive, communicating with each other directly through gap junction channels and responding to their local environment through specific neurotransmitter receptors. In addition, he has found that radial glial cells, present only in the embryonic and fetal developing brain and long thought to simply guide embryonic nerve cells during migration, are neuronal stem cells in the developing brain. Radial glial cells divide to produce nerve cells that often climb along their parent radial glial cells to reach the developing cerebral cortex. This finding suggests that a radial glial 'mother' cell generates and guides daughter neurons. More recently, he has found a second nerve cell precursor in the embryonic brain that undergoes a different mode of cell division in a distinct proliferative zone. This suggests new mechanisms for the generation of cell diversity in the developing cortex. The identification of the radial glial cell as a key neuronal stem cell in the developing brain has helped shift attention to the role of glial cells as neuronal stem cells in the adult brain, and has the potential to lead to innovative therapies aimed at treating diseases of brain development and injury associated with epilepsy.
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