Prof. Dr. Fiona Doetsch

University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50 / 70
CH - 4056 Basel
Biozentrum, Room 708 Phone: +41 61 207 22 30
Curriculum Vitae

Administrative Assistant

Nadine Iberl
Biozentrum, Room 709
Phone: +41 61 207 20 66
Fax: +41 61 207 20 78


Fiona Doetsch receives prestigious ERC research grant

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded the neuroscientist and stem...more

Distant brain regions selectively recruit stem cells

Stem cells persist in the adult mammalian brain and generate new neurons...more

Cerebrospinal fluid signals control the behavior of stem cells in the brain

Prof. Fiona Doetsch’s research team at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has...more

Research Group Fiona Doetsch

Stem cells in the adult mammalian brain

Our research group investigates stem cells in the adult mammalian brain. Elucidating the molecular and cellular pathways underlying their regulation may provide insight into brain repair.

Adult neural stem cells give rise to neurons (green) and astrocytes (red) in vitro.

Stem cells in the adult mammalian brain continuously give rise to new neurons that functionally integrate into circuits in restricted brain regions. They reside in specialized microenvironments, or niches, that support their life-long self-renewal and differentiation, and respond dynamically to different signals.

Identity and regulation of adult neural stem cells

The aim of our research is to define the identity, lineages and regulation of adult neural stem cells.  Adult neural stem cells are a subset of glial cells, raising the possibility that glial cells in other brain regions are latent stem cells. Using novel approaches to purify stem cells directly from their in vivo niche, we are investigating the intrinsic and extrinsic regulation underlying stem cell quiescence, activation, and differentiation.

We are defining the in vivo heterogeneity and potential of adult neural stem cells, and their gene regulatory networks. In addition, we are investigating different compartments of the niche, and how these change under distinct physiological states, including regeneration and aging. Together, this research will illuminate the biology of stem cells in the adult mammalian brain.

A reservoir of cells for brain repair?

Endogenous neural stem cells may be a reservoir of cells that can be harnessed for brain repair, as well as cells that can become dysregulated in pathological states and for example, may be a source of brain tumors. By defining the biology of adult neural stem cells and their interactions with their in vivo niche, new insights may be gained into how to stimulate neural stem cells for brain repair, as well as how they may contribute to brain pathologies.