Since starting my own lab in 2011, I have focused on microglia, the immune cell of the brain. We discovered that microglia in the adult brain are dependent upon signaling through the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) for their survival, and that we could take advantage of this dependency through the administration of specific CSF1R inhibitors leading to the rapid and sustained elimination of >95% of all microglia from the CNS. Through this method we are studying the roles that microglia play in normal brain function, as well as their effects on the brain during disease and injury.
We also uncovered that once the brain has been depleted of microglia withdrawal of CSF1R inhibitors leads to the rapid repopulation of the entire CNS with new microglia within a few days. We are exploring the therapeutic implications eliminating microglia after injury, or in disease, and then replacing them with new cells.
See our publications at: