We are interested in understanding how neural stem cells and brain tumor stem cells migrate. This will involve studying the effects of various mitogenic factors including epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) on neural and brain tumor stem cell migration using various assays. These assays include spot migration, Matrigel, organotypics, and animal models. Organotypics are brain explants obtained from intraoperative specimens and are the closest thing to an in vivo model.
The importance of these studies is that by understanding how these specific cell populations migrate, one can develop novel treatments for both neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors. Migrating and invading cells are one of these reasons treatments for brain tumors are unsuccessful at this point in time.