|Neurogenesis and Epigenetics/Epitranscriptomics | Dept. of Neuroscience, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, USA|
Research in Professor Hongjun Song's laboratory focuses on two core topics: (1) neural stem cell regulation and neurogenesis in the developing and adult mammalian brain and how these processes affect neural function; (2) epigenetic and epitranscriptomic mechanisms and their functions in the mammalian nervous system. Song’s lab has made major contributions to understanding how dysfunction of these mechanisms may be involved in brain disorders (i.e Zika virus and autism). Song’s lab is using brain organoid technology extensively in their research. Brain organoids are an exciting new technology with the potential to significantly change how diseases of the brain are understood and treated. These three-dimensional neural tissues are derived from the self-organization of pluripotent stem cells, and they recapitulate the developmental process of the human brain, including progenitor zones and rudimentary cortical layers. Several characteristics of organoids also make them attractive as models of brain disorders. Improvement in organoid technology will enhance the translational potential of brain organoids, as well as the possibility of their use as substrates for repairing cerebral circuitry after injury.
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