We seek to gain mechanistic insight into how interrelated processes - namely DNA repair, chromatin regulation, and transcriptional regulation - affect the physiology and pathophysiology of the brain.

1) We investigate mechanisms of chromosomal DNA double-strand break formation and repair in neural stem/progenitor cells and other neural cell types in the contexts of neurodevelopment, neural functioning, cellular diversity, and disease. In the latter context, a major current focus is the elucidation of causes of genome instability and chromosomal rearrangements in neural progenitors that give rise to medulloblastoma and other brain cancers.

2) We investigate how DNA repair and genome maintenance processes affect brain aging. The brain may be especially vulnerable to genomic alterations due to its network structure, the complexity of its transcriptome, and the low or absent turnover and long lifespan of neural cell types. Age-associated decline in cognitive function is evolutionarily conserved across species and aging is the major risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. Unlike other cellular molecules, genomic DNA cannot be replaced once damaged, which makes it a critical target for age-related deterioration.

The Schwer lab is a member of the Brain Tumor Center, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, Department of Neurological Surgery, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, Bakar Aging Research Institute, and a core member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. We are also part of the Programs in Neurologic Oncology and Cancer Genetics at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. This puts us in an ideal position to connect our fundamental research to the clinic and work toward UCSF's goal to deliver breakthroughs that help heal the world.

Research in the lab is supported by the NIH, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation, The Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation, The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, the UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE, the UCSF Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research, a QBI Bold & Basic Grant, the loglio research group, the Suzanne Marie Haderle and Robert Vincent Haderle Endowed Chair, and funds from the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery. Prior, additional supporters include the American Cancer Society, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Ellison Medical Foundation, and the American Federation for Aging Research.

If you would like to support our research, feel free to make a gift by clicking on the UCSF The Campaign logo. All donations are tax deductible. Your support can help expand our studies by facilitating the launch of new research projects or support our ongoing work.

We are on Twitter: @SchwerLab