Ivan Velasco, Ph.D.

Title
Associate Professor
Department
Department of Neuroscience
Institution
National Autonomous University of Mexico
Address
AP 70-253 Mexico D.F.-04510
City
Mexico City
Country
Mexico
E-mail
ivelasco[at]ifc.unam.mx
Website
http://www.ifc.unam.mx/researchers/ivan-velasco/en
Research Field
Neuroscience; stem cell biology
Award Year
2000
Country Of Origin
Mexico
Mentor Name
Ronald McKay, Ph.D

Research

Stem cells are undifferentiated, self-renewing entities that generate specialized descendants. In particular, neural stem cells can be isolated from developing and adult organisms, or from embryonic stem cells in culture. My interest lies on understanding how neuronal differentiation from stem cells takes place. For this purpose, we are using cultured neural stem cells extracted form fetuses, or embryonic stem cells, to activate specific pathways and ask whether the responsive intracellular mediators led the cells to a particular neuronal type. If we can understand cell commitment, this knowledge might change the treatment of neurological conditions on the long term. Thus, we are also working with animal models and grafting techniques, with the ultimate goal of finding conditions in which neurons produced from stem cells will have a positive impact on specific neuro-deficits.