With my background in biotechnology and a strong interest in neuroscience, I decided to focus on the field of neurodevelopment. I am mainly interested in how the human cortex develops and the molecular cues that coordinate this complex process.
Using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from patients’ somatic cells, it is possible to model different human diseases in a dish. Using this technology, we study human cortical malformations by collecting iPSCs from patients with various neurodevelopmental disorders. We can then look for disrupted molecular machinery in the neural stem cells and neuronal cultures derived from these cells.
Moreover, we are able to model these cortical malformations in a 3D culture system using human derived cerebral organoids. This revolutionary technology allows us to study the structural and functional differences found in cortical structures built from patients’ cells.
This research will provide insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development of the human cortex.