Neurodevelopmental disorders are a large group of conditions resulting from insults during critical periods of brain development. Currently, there is no cure for most neurodevelopmental disorders and the only treatments available for children are directed at alleviating their symptoms.
We are using in vitro stem cell-derived models of the developing human brain, called brain organoids, to understand how our brain is built and how alterations during this process cause neurodevelopmental disorders.
We have developed a 3D organoid model that closely mimic the fetal human brain. By using this organoid model and experimental approaches that allow analysis of single cells we aim to identify disease mechanisms and develop novel and effective therapies for neurodevelopmental disorders.
Newborn neurons (green) produced from neural progenitors (purple) within a stem cell organoid modeling the developing human brain.
Maria Nucera is analyzing brain organoids using computational methods. Image credit: Dr Maria Giovanna Garone
Neural Stem Cells Group (Velasco Lab) (MCRI), reNEW Melbourne.