A long term goal of our research is to develop innovative strategies to understand and identify therapeutics for neural injuries and degenerative diseases. Our laboratory pioneered cell fate programming in the adult rodent brain and spinal cord. We showed that reactive glial cells can be in vivo reprogrammed into neural progenitors and functionally mature neurons. Furthermore, the identity of endogenous mature neurons can also be reprogrammed. These results provide new perspectives on cell identity maintenance and potential therapeutics.