Desbordes Mod

  • Young Investigator

Stem Cells in Neural Development

About Sabrina C Desbordes

For many years, the extracellular matrix was thought to serve as an inert scaffold of tissues. It is now clear that it has an active and complex role in regulating cell behaviors such as differentiation, migration, shape, function, proliferation and survival. In the brain, the major components of the extracellular matrix are proteoglycans. Very little is known about their role during neuronal development, homeostasis and disease. We use molecular, genetic and imaging tools in neurons derived from mouse and human pluripotent stem cells as well as in vivo model systems to investigate the role of heparan sulphate proteoglycans during brain development and disease.

Please also see: http://www.helmholtz-muenchen.de/en/idg/research/neuropsychiatric-diseases/stem-cells-in-neural-development/research/index.html

Fellowships, Awards and Honours

2011        Travel Award from the New York Academy of Science, New York, NY, USA
2008-11   Postdoctoral Fellowship from the ‘Juan de la Cierva’ Program, Madrid, Spain
2006-7     Travel Scholarships from Keystone Symposia, Silverthorne, CO, USA
2001         Travel Award from the British Society of Developmental Biology, UK
2000-03    Studentships from the Cambridge European Trust and Isaac Newton Trust, UK 

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

  • Extracellular matrix role during brain development and disease
  • Glypican specificity in neuronal sub-populations
  • Mouse and human pluripotent stem cell differentiation to neurons
  • Dopaminergic neurons of the VTA and insulin regulation
  • Cell behavior and investigation of the surrounding environment (niche)