Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 N Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla,, CA
The Kintner Lab studies the molecular events that occur in the formation of the nervous system during embryonic development. These events include formation of the neural plate, which gives rise to the neural tube and, eventually, to the entire brain and nervous system. Defects in neural tube formation are responsible for a number of human birth defects, including spina bifida. Kintner's group focuses on neural stem cells within the developing neural tube, which become the nerve cells that comprise the brain and spinal cord. Clinical use of these neural stem cells has been proposed as a means for treating neurological deficits. The goal of the research is to analyze the key genetic pathways required for the normal development and differentiation of stem cells. The knowledge gleaned from this research may help prevent or treat human birth defects.