Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

CSA Faculty


Erzsebet Kokovay, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


University of New Mexico, 2005


MED 2.054V
(210) 567-5811


Dr. Kokovay received her PhD from the University of New Mexico in Biomedical Sciences where she studied the role bone marrow derived cells played in degeneration and repair during CNS diseases. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship studying neural stem cells at the Neural Stem Cell Institute in Rensselaer, NY. Dr. Kokovay joined the Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy in June of 2012.
The majority of new neurons in the brain are born during development. However, the subventricular zone which lines the lateral ventricle harbors neural stem cells (NSCs) that proliferate and give rise to progenitors that migrate long distances and give rise to new neurons throughout life. My lab is interested in the mechanisms that regulate adult neurogenesis and NSC quiescence, activation, migration and differentiation potential. We are focused on two areas:
    1. Understanding niche regulation of NSCs. Neurogenesis and NSCs are highly regulated by both intrinsic signals and external signals from the surrounding microenvironment. One major focus of the lab is to understand how different cellular compartments within the microenvironment influence NSC function. Understanding how NSCs are regulated has important implications in transplantation and repair strategies following CNS injury and degeneration.


    2. The study of aging on NSC function. Neurogenesis declines dramatically during normal aging which may produce deficits in the brain associated with aging such as reduced ability to repair neuronal or glial loss. We are interested in how the subventricular zone niche changes during age and how this influences NSC function and neurogenesis.


Research Techniques:
Analysis of transgenic mice, microscopic imaging, tissue culture, immunofluorescent staining, qPCR, stereotexic surgery, brain microdissection, shRNA gene knockdown.

Kokovay E, Wang Y, Kusek G, Wurster R, Lederman P, Lowry N, Shen Q, Temple S. (2012) VCAM1 Is Essential to Maintain the Structure of the SVZ Niche and Acts as an Environmental Sensor to Regulate SVZ Lineage Progression. Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Aug 3;11(2):220-30.


Winter M, Wait E, Roysam B, Goderie SK, Ali RA, Kokovay E, Temple S, Cohen AR. (2011) Vertebrate neural stem cell segmentation, tracking and lineaging with validation and editing. Nat Protoc. 2011 Nov 17;6(12):1942-52.


Kokovay E, Goderie S, Wang Y, Lotz S, Lin G, Sun Y, Roysam B, Shen Q, Temple S. (2010) Adult SVZ lineage cells home to and leave the vascular niche via differential responses to SDF1/CXCR4 signaling. Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Aug 6;7(2):163-73.


Fasano CA, Phoenix TN, Kokovay E, Lowry N, Elkabetz Y, Dimos JT, Lemischka IR, Studer L, Temple S. (2009) Bmi-1 cooperates with Foxg1 to maintain neural stem cell self-renewal in the forebrain. Genes Dev. 2009 Mar 1;23(5):561-74.


Kokovay E, Shen Q, Temple S. (2008) The incredible elastic brain: how neural stem cells expand our minds. Neuron. 2008 Nov 6;60(3):420-9.


Shen Q, Wang Y, Kokovay E, Lin G, Chuang SM, Goderie SK, Roysam B, Temple S. (2008) Adult SVZ stem cells lie in a vascular niche: a quantitative analysis of niche cell-cell interactions. Cell Stem Cell. 2008 Sep 11;3(3):289-300.