The Kaslin group is interested in cellular plasticity in the brain and spinal cord. In particular the group is interested in how the neural system can repair itself by mobilising stem cells and how one can improve this process.


In the past, neural stem cells and brain regeneration has mostly been studied in vertebrates (such as rodents). The problem with this is that these vertebrates have very limited potential to regenerate.

Enter the zebrafish. This fish is able to regenerate parts of their central nervous system, even in adults. Using the zebrafish model is therefore much more advantageous to research as it can answer questions that previously could not be answered.

We use the zebrafish model to reveal how neural stem cell populations are formed during development and how they can controlled to improve repair after injury or in disease.

Kaslin Group Members


  • Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control cellular plasticity in the intact and injured vertebrate brain
  • How neuronal stem cell niches arise and are being maintained, using high-resolution in vivo imaging, novel genetic tools and cellular reprogramming
  • Using high-throughput methods to get a comprehensive understanding of the genetic networks that regulate cellular plasticity during homeostasis and regeneration.

Featured Publications

More Publications

Published In

Lindsey BW, Di Donato S, Kaslin J, Tropepe V.

Sensory-specific modulation of adult neurogenesis in sensory structures is associated with the type of stem cell present in the neurogenic niche of the zebrafish brain

Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Dec;40(11):3591-607. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12729. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Goldshmit Y, Frisca F, Pinto AR, Pébay A, Tang JK, Siegel AL, Kaslin J, Currie PD.

Fgf2 improves functional recovery-decreasing gliosis and increasing radial glia and neural progenitor cells after spinal cord injury.

Brain Behav. 2014 Mar;4(2):187-200. doi: 10.1002/brb3.172. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Kaslin J, Kroehne V, Benato F, Argenton F, Brand M.

Development and specification of cerebellar stem and progenitor cells in zebrafish: from embryo to adult.

Neural Dev. 2013 May 4;8:9. doi: 10.1186/1749-8104-8-9.

Kizil C, Kyritsis N, Dudczig S, Kroehne V, Freudenreich D, Kaslin J, Brand M.

Regenerative neurogenesis from neural progenitor cells requires injury-Induced expression of Gata3.

Dev Cell. 2012 Dec 11;23(6):1230-7. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.10.014. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Kaslin J and Brand M.

Cerebellar development and neurogenesis in zebrafish.

Handbook of the Cerebellum and Cerebellar Disorders 2012, pp 1441-1462

Kyritsis N, Kizil C, Zocher S, Kroehne V, Kaslin J, Freudenreich D, Iltzsche A, Brand M.

Acute inflammation initiates the regenerative response in the adult zebrafish brain.

Science 2012 Dec 7;338(6112):1353-1356. doi: 10.1126/science.1228773. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Gutnick A, Blechman J, Kaslin J, Affolter M,.Bonkowsky J, Levkowitz G.

The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin is required for formation of the neuro-vascular interface of the pituitary.

Dev Cell. 2011 Oct 18;21(4):642-54. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.004.