Nishanth Lakshman, PhD Candidate
Education: HBSc (Physiology), University of Toronto; PhD Student, University of Toronto
Brief Biography: In my free time, I like to involve myself with the community with different outreach programs ranging from food and clothing donations to educational and recreational activities for kids and youth. I enjoy exploring our beautiful city and experiencing the different cuisines and festivals our multicultural niche has to offer.
Research Focus: Nishanth’s research focuses on the characterizing differences in activity of two different populations of neural stem cells found within the central nervous system. Specifically, he is interested in understanding why stem cells from the forebrain and spinal cord tend to behave very differently even though they arise from the same populations of cells in development. His hypothesis is that these stem cells are in fact intrinsically similar and phenotypic differences in their behaviour can be attributed to differential regulation by their environment (or niche). Of special interest to Nishanth is understanding the role of extracellular myelin basic protein after injury on neural stem cell regulation. To ask this question he utilizes the cell culture paradigms such as the neurosphere assay along with in vivo models of CNS injury.