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Accelerating the Functional Maturation of Human Fast-Spiking Inhibitory Neurons

Inhibitory cortical interneurons are thought to underlie several neurological disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. In particular, the loss or defects of fast-spiking inhibitory interneuron is often observed. Due to this, many studies have used transplantation of interneuron progenitors or human stem cell derived inhibitory interneurons as candidates for cell based therapies. However, the current protocol to make functional mature fast-spiking inhibitory neurons could take 7-8 months, making it ill-suited for any applications in transplantation or in drug discoveries. One key reason for this is that we currently do not understand the molecular mechanisms that drive the development of these cells. In my PhD, the goal of my thesis work is to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the cellular development of cortical inhibitory neurons, and employ novel methods to accelerate their maturation. I anticipate that my findings will provide new methods to mature neurons in a dish, providing advancement in cell replacement therapy.

Date:25 Nov 2020 →  24 Nov 2021
Keywords:Parvalbumin Positive Fast-Spiking Interneurons, Development and maturation, Mitochondrial Morphology, Metabolic Profiling
Disciplines:Developmental neuroscience
Project type:PhD project