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Assembling Human Cellular Models to Study Neurodegeneration

Award Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Awards (Cycle 1)
Focus Area Neurodegeneration

Project Description

We propose to leverage technology we developed in the lab to build self-organizing 3D human cellular systems that capture neural-glial interactions and inter-regional neural cross-talk. We will use this powerful preparation, also known as brain assembloids, to uncover the programs underlying prolonged maturation of neurons and astrocytes in humans and model specific genetic forms of neurodegenerative disorders. This work could lead to novel strategies and tools for modeling brain maturation and neurodegeneration with patient-derived cells and could ultimately bring therapeutic insights.

Results & Resources

This project has made a number of key advances, including:

The lab has developed detailed protocols for generating regionalized neural organoids and assembloids, organized hands-on workshops on organoids and assembloids, and performed single cell profiling of the developing central nervous system and generated gene expression profiles of cortical organoids over time.


Sergiu Pasca, MD, PhD
Sergiu Pasca, MD, PhD