6th Croucher-Pasteur Exchange Programme

The 6th Croucher-Pasteur Exchange Programme has hosted a seminar entitled: "Wiring Newly Formed Neurons with Adult Olfactory Bulb Circuits"

by Dr Pierre-Marie LLEDO, Laboratory for Perception and Memory, Institut Pasteur and CNRS, France

Date: Friday, 14 May 2010

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Venue: Seminar Room 6, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong

Abstract:

Neurogenesis occurs in the adult central nervous systems of a variety of vertebrate and non-vertebrate organisms. The roles that the new neurons play, and the factors that influence their birth and survival, are critical issues that are under intense investigation. Significant progress has been made in understanding the functions of new neurons in the olfactory system, a pathway where neurons are added throughout life in a wide range of species. With the adult mouse olfactory bulb as a model, this presentation will address a series of fundamental questions concerning the role(s) that neurogenesis plays in the normal functioning of adult olfactory bulb circuits.

We will see that adult neurogenesis is not a mere recapitulation of embryogenesis but rather a unique process adapted to the adult forebrain. We will discuss how the olfactory bulb balances the need for synaptic plasticity with the need to maintain already functional information processing networks. Our recent studies have demonstrated that adult neurogenesis is flexible, producing different numbers of neurons, and different neuronal types, aimed at surviving distinctly according to an animal environmental experience. These findings support the assumption according to which new neurons in the adult brain are produced to perform a particular task not possible for mature neurons. Together, the confluence of data from different approaches suggests a complex dialogue between newborn and mature neurons in the olfactory bulb.

This presentation will touch on these various topics that are of broad interest to neuroscientists not only studying developmental processes, and mechanisms of cognitive functions but also to those seeking for novel strategies aimed at using endogenous neuronal stem cells for brain repair.


Students and post-doctoral fellows wishing to perform research work at Institut Pasteur are also encouraged to search the Pasteur website to identify additional host laboratories of interest. Prospective candidates are invited to contact Anne Li to prepare the Croucher application (please check the Croucher website for eligibility criteria).