One of the goals of research in neurobiology is to repair or regenerate neurons after damage to the brain or spinal cord. Neurons are produced by multipotent neural stem cells that can both self-renew and simultaneously generate different types of neurons. My research aims to identify the genes that specify the characteristic behaviours of these neural cells. It may then become possible to induce stem cells to become neurons at will, or induce neurons to regenerate.
Jim and I did not consider having children until we had established our own research groups and my fellowship had been renewed. We have no childcare help at home and our families live in the US and Australia. It has not been easy juggling two careers and family life, but with a supportive lab and very little sleep, it has been possible.