Neonatal Brain Development and Injury
Rapid medical and technological advances have significantly improved the survival of preterm babies. Premature birth predisposes to a severe syndrome named encephalopathy of prematurity which leads to cortical gray and white matter abnormalities and moderate to severe long-term neurodevelopmental impairments. Timing of extremely premature birth corresponds to critical processes during the development of the uniquely complex human cerebral cortex, including generation, migration and wiring of cortical neurons and development of the white matter.
The focus of the lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders associated with fetal and neonatal brain injury with the long-term goal of translating the lab’s findings into therapeutics. The research team uses region-specific human brain organoids differentiated from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and employs a multidisciplinary approach involving genetics, molecular and developmental neurobiology to ask questions about brain injury during development.