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Prof. Yves-Alain Barde
Prof. Yves-Alain Barde
Biozentrum, University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 50/70
CH-4056 Basel / Switzerland

Yves Barde is Professor of Neurobiology and worked at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel until 2013. He is a developmental neurobiologist working on growth factors for neurons. The lack of suitable in vitro assay systems to study neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) led his group to use mouse of embryonic stem (ES) cells to generate neurons. Unlike previously thought, it turned out that ES cells can be converted in vitro into defined and homogenous neuronal progenitors that go on to differentiate into essentially one population of CNS neurons. This system provides a novel opportunity to dissect mechanisms relevant to the CNS, both during normal development and in disease. For example, it allowed the demonstration that the lack of a single transcription factor in ES cells is sufficient to entirely shift the type of neurons generated by ES cell-derived progenitors. It also led to the discovery of a new mechanism causing axonal degeneration. Recently, the group started using human embryonic stem cells to test whether uniform populations of human neurons can be generated with the techniques developed with mouse ES cells. This would open the possibility to study human neurons in vitro, both during normal development and in diseases.

Yves Barde co-founded the Basel Stem Cell Network, a Competence Centre of the University of Basel.

Since September 2013, Yves Barde is Professor at the Cardiff School of Biosciences of the Cardiff University.

Recent publications related to stem cells

  • Nikoletopoulou V, Lickert H, Frade JM, Rencurel C, Giallonardo P, Zhang L, Bibel M. and Barde YA. (2010). Neurotrophin receptors TrkA and TrkC cause neuronal death whereas TrkB does not. Nature 467:59-63.
  • Tiwari VK, Burger L, Nikoletopoulou V, Deogracias R, Thakurela S, Wirbelauer C, Kaut J, Terranova R, Hoerner L, Mielke C, Boege F, Murr R, Peters AH, Barde Y-A. and Schübeler D. (2012). Target genes of Topoisomerase IIβ regulate neuronal survival and are defined by their chromatin state. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109:E934-43.  
  • Dieni S, Matsumoto T, Dekkers M, Rauskolb S, Ionescu MS, Deogracias R, Gundelfinger ED, Kojima M, Nestel S, Frotscher M. and Barde Y-A. (2012). BDNF and its pro-peptide are stored in presynaptic dense core vesicles in brain neurons. J Cell Biol. 196:775-88.
  • Bischoff V, Deogracias R, Poirier F, Barde YA. (2012). Seizure-induced neuronal death is suppressed in the absence of the endogenous lectin Galectin-1. J Neurosci. 32:15590-600.
  • Deogracias R, Yazdani M, Dekkers MP, Guy J, Ionescu MC, Vogt KE, Barde YA. (2012). Fingolimod, a sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulator, increases BDNF levels and improves symptoms of a mouse model of Rett syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109:14230-5.
  • Yazdani M, Deogracias R, Guy J, Poot RA, Bird A, Barde YA. (2012). Disease modeling using embryonic stem cells: MeCP2 regulates nuclear size and RNA synthesis in neurons. Stem Cells 30:2128-39.


  • Dekkers MP, Nikoletopoulou V, Barde YA. (2013). Cell biology in neuroscience: Death of developing neurons: new insights and implications for connectivity. J Cell Biol. 203:385-93.
  • Dekkers MP, Barde YA. (2013). Developmental biology. Programmed cell death in neuronal development. Science 340:39-41.


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