TU Dresden


Patterning and Regeneration of the Vertebrate Brain - Michael Brand

A fundamental problem in neurobiology is how the multitude of different cells of the brain is generated from their precursors, or stem cells. We study the underlying mechanisms during vertebrate brain development and regeneration.

Previous and current research

In contrast to mammals, the central nervous system (CNS) of adult zebrafish retains a large number of active neural stem/progenitor cells producing numerous new neurons of different subtypes in discrete spatial domains. Moreover, the adult zebrafish CNS has a spectacular ability to regenerate after severe lesions. Combined with well-developed genetic and molecular biology tools, it therefore provides an ideally tractable system for understanding recruitment of stem cells during normal homeostasis and in the context of regeneration. more

Future projects and goals

  • Identification of the molecular mechanisms that allow adult CNS regeneration in a regeneration-competent organism to rekindle regeneration in degenerative brain diseases and also in the mammalian CNS
  • organizer-dependent patterning and differentiation processes in the embryonic and adult vertebrate brain

Selected publications

Kyritsis, N., Kizil, C., Zocher, S., Kroehne, V., Kaslin, J., Freudenreich, D., Iltzsche, A., and Brand, M. (2012). Acute inflammation initiates the regenerative response in the adult zebrafish brain. Science 338, 1353-1356.

Kizil, C., Kyritsis, N., Dudczig, S., Kroehne, V., Freudenreich, D., Kaslin, J., and Brand, M. (2012). Regenerative neurogenesis from neural progenitor cells requires injury-induced expression of Gata3. Dev Cell 23, 1230-1237.

Nowak, M., Machate, A., Yu, S.R., Gupta, M., and Brand, M. (2011). Interpretation of the FGF8 morphogen gradient is regulated by endocytic trafficking. Nat Cell Biol 13, 153-158.

Kroehne, V., Freudenreich, D., Hans, S., Kaslin, J., and Brand, M. (2011). Regeneration of the adult zebrafish brain from neurogenic radial glia-type progenitors. Development 138, 4831-4841. “Community choice” research highlight: Nature 479, 271.doi:10.1038/479271e

Ganz, J., Kaslin, J., Hochmann, S., Freudenreich, D., and Brand, M. (2010). Heterogeneity and Fgf dependence of adult neural progenitors in the zebrafish telencephalon. Glia 58, 1345-1363.


Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Michael Brand

Assistant to Group Leader

Kristin Hopfe
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 82300