The Kaslin group is interested in cellular plasticity. This refers to the ability of cells to take on characteristics of other cells in the body. But rather than study the process throughout the entire body, the group are focused in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control this process in the intact or injured vertebrate brain.
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 regenerated potential.
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.
Understanding the process of cellular plasticity is essential to the development of successful therapies to promote neural regeneration.