Ciliary Signaling in Neural Stem Cells and CNS Progenitor Cells in Hydrocephalus

We are a developmental neuroscience laboratory that studies primary and motile ciliary signaling and its effects on neural and glial progenitor cell differentiation. We are currently studying cilia-related molecular and cellular events leading to and resulting from hydrocephalus, a common neurological condition occurring in 1 in 1,000 children and a condition that Dr. Vogel treats clinically for pediatric neurosurgery. Hydrocephalus results in dilated fluid spaces (ventricles) and has significant effects on the developing brain in children. To study the events underlying hydrocephalus, we have developed mouse models that closely resemble the hydrocephalic condition seen in children. Based on these studies, we have identified the importance of primary and motile cilia in neural stem cell migration from the subventricular zone (SVZ), in differentiation, in brain development, and ultimately in the genesis of hydrocephalus. Our lab, along with our collaborators at Cincinnati Children's: Kenneth Campbell and Masato Nakafuku, are actively pursuing the signaling pathways involved in hydrocephalus as it relates to ciliary signaling.

We are also interested in studying novel methods of imaging of cilia along with our collaborators at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University. We have developed novel methods to capture images of cilia at subcellular resolution and are applying these techniques to various preclinical models for translation into human studies.

Finally, as a clinician, Dr. Vogel’s laboratory is uniquely positioned to study pediatric hydrocephalus and its effects on the developing central nervous system. In order to ground these studies in physiologically relevant models of human disease, we have ongoing institutional review board (IRB) approved studies to look at certain forms of human hydrocephalus during child development and the human molecular genetics associated with this disease. We are working closely with partners in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other centers of excellence at Cincinnati Children’s on translational projects related to developing innovative therapeutics for hydrocephalus.