John Kessler, MD, leads Northwestern's Center of Excellence in Translational Human Stem Cell Research, a distinction conferred by a $3.6 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded in 2006.
Dr. Kessler's laboratory focuses on two general areas, neural stem cells and neurotrophic growth factors. They are interested in defining mechanisms regulating neuronal and glial differentiation of neural progenitor cells, and on understanding how growth factors promote neuronal 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.
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