#NeuroConCiencia · Mimicking the Central Nervous System microenvironments to refine human stem cell-based neurological models



  • Dr. Alberto Ortega. Investigador Ramon y Cajal, Departament de Patologia i Terapèutica Experimental, Universitat de Barcelona

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Our lab aims to decipher developmental and evolutionary changes of the human nervous system microenvironments. We want to determine how cell-extrinsic determinants modulate the generation of new neurons, their integration and functional maturation during development, as well as their degeneration after trauma or disease. We use novel and unbiased screening approaches to profile components of the cortical extracellular matrix and their effect on cellular behavior. Our previous studies and current preliminary data indicate that an accurate combination of signals identified by these approaches allows to better reproduce the neural surrounding microenvironments in vitro and help to overcome recurrent problems related to cell differentiation and functional maturation observed in the current human stem cell-based models. Improving these in vitro systems has a high clinical relevance because of their strong potential to study mechanisms of degeneration in a human context and to screen new therapeutic targets.

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