Heinrich Reichert is a Professor of Neurobiology and Molecular Zoology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. His group is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms that transform a stereotyped array of neural stem cell-like neuroblasts into the complex neural circuitry of the insect brain. To investigate this, his lab focuses on postembryonic brain development in Drosophila, a model system in which 100 identified neuroblast pairs represent the primary progenitors that give rise to the 100’000 neurons and glia of the adult brain. Currently, his lab is studying the role of key transcription factors in controlling neural proliferation from these pluripotent neuroblasts such that the correct number and identity of neural cells in each brain circuit module is reliably achieved and oncogenic overproliferation leading to brain tumors is prevented. Experimentally, his group takes advantage of the vast array of classical and molecular genetic mutational and transgenic techniques that have been developed in Drosophila and, more specifically, utilizes clonal labeling and mutational methods to study individual neural stem cell-like primary progenitors, amplfying intermediate progenitors and the clonal progeny of these progenitors as well as the lineage-based circuits that they generate. The Reichert lab has collaborations with other groups in Basel as well as with Volker Hartenstein at UCLA, USA, Veronica Rodrigues at NCBS, India and Gerhard Technau at the University of Mainz, Germany. Reichert and his group have published over 100 papers in areas of invertebrate neurobiology that range from the molecular and cellular to the systems and behavioral level.
For additional details, see http://www.biozentrum.unibas.ch/reichert/index.html
Original publications related to neural stem cells
- Bello B, Holbro N. and Reichert H. (2007). Polycomb group genes are required for neural stem cell survival in postembryonic neurogenesis of Drosophila. Development 134:1091-1099.
- Lichtneckert R, Nobs L. and Reichert H. (2008). Empty spiracles is required for the development of olfactory projection neuron circuitry in Drosophila. Development 135:2415-2424.
- Bello B, Izergina N, Caussinus E. and Reichert H. (2008). Amplification of neural stem cell proliferation by intermediate progenitor cells in Drosophila brain development. Neural Development 3:5-21.
- Kumar A, Bello B. and Reichert H. (2009). Lineage-specific programmed cell death in postembryonic brain development of Drosophila. Development 136:3433-3442.
- Izergina N, Balmer J, Bello B. and Reichert H. (2009). Postembryonic development of transit amplifying neuroblast lineages in the Drosophila brain. Neural Development 4:44.
- Hartmann B, Müller M, Hislop NR, Roth B, Tomljenovic L, Miller DJ. and Reichert H. (2010). Coral emx-Am can substitute for Drosophila empty spiracles function in head, but not brain development. Dev Biol. 340:125-33.
- Viktorin G, Riebli N, Popkova A, Giangrande A. and Reichert H. (2011). Multipotent neural stem cells generate glial cells of the central complex through transit amplifying intermediate progenitors in Drosophila brain development. Dev Biol. 356:553-65.
Reviews related to neural stem cells
- Reichert H. (2009). Evolutionary conservation of mechanisms for neuronal regionalization, proliferation and interconnection in brain development. Biol Lett. 5:112-119.
- Reichert H. and Bello B. (2010). Hox genes and brain development in Drosophila. Adv Exp Med Biol. 689:145-53.
- Boyan GS. and Reichert H. (2011). Mechanisms for complexity in the brain: generating the insect central complex. Trends Neurosci. 34:247-57.