Understanding the Role of Epigenetic Regulation During Human Neural Lineage Commitment

2023 Seed Grant
Dmitry Velmeshev, Ph.D.
Duke University

Human brain development is a very complex process that involves generation and maturation of hundreds of specialized cell types. These cells types are generated by a small set of starting cells called neural stem cells. How these stem cells and their daughter cells know which cell type to generate is still poorly understood. This decision process, called lineage commitment, is at the heart of brain development, and when perturbed, can lead to brain disorders, such as autism. Dr. Velmeshev’s laboratory will use novel tools, including single-cell genomics, CRISPR and 3D brain culture models in the dish, to find out what key factors control lineage commitment in the human brain. We hope that our study will allow us to better understand normal human brain development, brain disorders and to design ways to generate specific brain cell type on demand for drug discovery and transplantation studies.

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