Dr Luana Campos Soares
I am currently working on The Oxford Martin Programme on 3D Printing for Brain Repair, which will advance our knowledge on basic neurosciences with added potential advances for translational medicine.
The project has three main goals, all equally puzzling. Firstly, we intend to deepen our understanding of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) neuronal differentiation process, as the ability to generate neurons from different cortical layers is an essential aspect of our approach. Second, we will pre-organize these neurons in layers and columns using the 3D printing technology. Finally, we will test the ability of these constructs to integrate in the existing nervous tissue in vivo.
My research interest resides in the understanding molecular cues within cortical brain development and how they can be used to treat brain injury and damage. Additionally, I continue to work with early neural stem cell commitment and polarity, focusing on the role of Galectin-3 in this process. Galectin-3 is a lectin strongly expressed in the stem cells niche in the brain; however, its specific functions remain to be elucidated.