Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult hippocampus, an area of the brain important for learning and memory, typically reside in a quiescent, non-dividing state. When they become activated, they enter the cell cycle, dividing and ultimately producing newborn neurons that can integrate into the existing neuronal circuitry. With aging, disease, and injury, this process of neurogenesis is dramatically altered. Research in the Moore lab focuses on the regulation and movement of proteins during the earliest steps in this pathway, specifically NSC quiescence exit and the resulting cell divisions. Recently they and others have found that quiescent NSCs must clear an accumulation of proteins marked for degradation using autophagy and aggresomes, to activate and enter the cell cycle. As the NSCs then divide, these cargoes are asymmetrically segregated between the daughter cells to affect their downstream health and behavior. Currently, the Moore lab is studying the molecular mechanisms that drive these processes. In addition, they are developing novel imaging methods to define quiescent NSCs functionally both in vitro and in vivo to identify the drivers of changes in NSC state that can be targeted to drive NSC proliferation in the adult brain. Using these approaches, they hope to contribute to our fundamental understanding of stem cell biology, identifying novel targets for treating aging-related diseases.
Darcie Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. She received her PhD from the University of Miami, Florida in the lab of Jeffrey Goldberg. Prior to moving to Madison, she performed her post-doc in the lab of Sebastian Jessberger at ETH/University of Zürich in Switzerland where she first started studying stem cell behavior, and was the recipient of a Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Fellowship and the Gruber Award for International Research from the Society for Neuroscience. As an Assistant Professor, Darcie has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, and a Shaw Scientist Award, as well as Junior faculty grants from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), and the Wisconsin Partnership Program.