Research directions

We use the cortex, cerebellum and spinal cord of the developing and adult mouse as model systems to elucidate the biology of neural stem cells within the brain. Ultimately, we hope to define the genes that drive the differentiation of neural progenitor cells into either neurons or glia, work that will provide insights into neurodevelopmental disorders, ageing and cancer. Dr. Piper currently has funding from the  ARC (Discovery Project grant; 2016-2018) to investigate how neural stem cell quiescence in the adult brain is co-ordinated. This work will provide pivotal insights into how ongoing neurogenesis in the adult brain is regulated, and the behavioural consequences of deficits to this process. Dr. Piper is funded also by the Cancer Council Queensland (2016-2017) to investigate the transcriptional regulation of stem cell biology within the developing cerebellum and in medulloblastoma, a cerebellar tumour that is the most common malignant paediatric brain cancer. We envisage that this research will provide important insights into the control of neural stem cell differentiation within the cerebellum, as well as providing avenues that will lead to improved treatment for this devastating disorder.

Current collaborations

  • Professor Linda Richards - Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland
  • Assoc. Prof. Thomas Burne - Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland
  • Professor Richard Gronostajski - Department of Biochemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Professor Francois Guillemot - Division of Molecular Neurobiology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK
  • Assoc Prof. Mikael Boden - School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
  • Dr Aaron Smith, QUT

Contact

Dr Michael Piper
NHMRC Research Fellow
Queensland Brain Institute and the School of Biomedical Sciences
The University of Queensland
Brisbane Qld 4072
Tel: (+61 7) 3365 4484
Email: m.piper@uq.edu.au