Kimberly Siletti

Our Research

In the last several years, new single-cell genomic methods have transformed our understanding of the mammalian brain, revealing extraordinary cellular diversity. Recent work including our own indicates the brain contains thousands of cell types: both neurons and glia exhibit extensive region-specific variation. Strikingly, these cell types appear to reflect their developmental origins. Developmental processes clearly have a lasting impact on the brain and play critical roles in genetic predisposition to disease. Our group seeks to understand the emergence of neural diversity. We’re particularly interested in the brainstem, where our data reveal an especially high number of cell types. The brainstem underlies some of our most essential functions, playing a central role in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. We ask questions like:

How do cell types in the brainstem diversify?
How do these processes interact with genetic mutations?
How does the human brain innovate on these processes?

We approach these questions with mouse models and high-throughput genomic technologies. Brain development is a complex process involving the generation and migration of many cells that arerapidly changing and communicating with one another. Single-cell methods have the potential todisentangle these processes, infer their interactions with genetic mutations, and explore how these forces have changed over the course of evolution.

Research Group

Kimberly Siletti
Group name: Siletti Lab
Research field: Neurodevelopment
Department: Translational Neuroscience / University Medical Center Utrecht


Universiteitsweg 100
3584 CG
Building: Stratenum