Generating and regenerating the neocortex
The Hébert lab has two main focuses. First, understanding how a simple sheet of neuroepithelial cells early in embryogenesis develops into the adult neocortex, the part of our brains that we use for our highest cognitive and perceptual functions. And second, devising methods for regenerating the principle neurons of the adult neocortex when they are lost. For both interests, we use primarily molecular genetic techniques to manipulate the expression of regulatory genes in neural precursor cells in mice. More specifically, our primary goals are to: 1) understand how one class of genes, those that encode components of the FGF signaling pathway, regulate the behavior of neural precursor cells in the forebrain during development and in adulthood; and 2) establish paradigms for regenerating widely dispersed glutamatergic projection neurons in the adult neocortex using engineered neural precursor cells.
As a secondary focus, the Hébert lab is also exploring the long-term effects of inner ear defects on forebrain function.
Selected Recent Publications
Kang W, Hébert JM. (2015). FGF signaling is necessary for neurogenesis in young mice and sufficient to reverse its decline in old mice. J. Neuroscience 35: 10217-10223.
Kang W, Balordi F, Su N, Chen L, Fishell G, Hébert JM. (2014). Astrocyte activation in both normal and injured brain is suppressed by FGF signaling. PNAS, 111: E2987-E2995.
Antoine M, Hübner CA, Arezzo JC, Hébert JM. (2013). A causative link between inner ear defects and long-term striatal dysfunction. Science 341: 1120-1123.
Diaz F, McKeehan N, Kang W, Hébert JM. (2013). Apoptosis of glutamatergic neurons fails to trigger a neurogenic response in the adult neocortex. J. Neuroscience 33: 6278-6284.
Hébert JM. (2013). Only scratching the cell surface; extracellular signals in cerebrum development. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 23: 470-474.
Paek H, Hwang JY, Zukin RS, Hébert JM. (2011). b-catenin-dependent FGF signaling sustains cell survival in the anterior embryonic head by countering Smad4. Developmental Cell 20: 689-699.
Kang W, Wong LC, Shi S, Hébert JM. (2009). The transition from radial glial to intermediate progenitor cell is inhibited by FGF signaling during corticogenesis. J. Neuroscience 29: 14571-14580.
Paek H, Gutin G, Hébert JM. (2009). FGF signaling is strictly required to maintain early telencephalic precursor cell survival. Development 136: 2457-2465.
Hébert JM, Fishell G. (2008). The genetics of telencephalon patterning, some assembly required. Nat. Rev. Neurosci., 9: 678-685.
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More Information About Dr. Jean Hebert
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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rose F. Kennedy Center
1410 Pelham Parkway South , Room 509
Bronx, NY 10461
The New York Times interviews Dr. Jean Hébert about his research featured in Science that found a link between hyperactivity and an inner ear defect in mice.