The cellular diversity of the human brain is immense, which is generated through evolutionarily conserved developmental mechanisms. Neural stem cells (NSCs) are on top of the neural hierarchy and need to give critical cell fate choices to generate the adult brain through various cellular differentiation trajectories. My long-term ambition is to discover the molecular mechanisms regulating the function of NSCs using a holistic, systems biology approach.
The current research in my lab aims to delineate the molecular and cellular mechanisms behind cell fate decisions of NSCs and how these mechanisms fail in mutations associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A secondary goal of our lab is to determine how histone methylation contributes to the cellular heterogeneity in the adult brain, with a focus on the reward system.
We use state-of-the art single cell sequencing techniques, CRISPR-mediated gene inactivation, mouse genetics and computational tools to run multidisciplinary, collaborative projects.
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