Our Research


Using postnatal to adult post-mortem human brain tissue from healthy individuals, we will assess the developmental trajectories of the gray/white matter in multiple region of interests. Our group will take advantage of scRNA-seq, scATAC-seq, and histone marks H3K27ac/H3K4me3 ChIP-seq to uncover the contribution of transcriptomic, epigenomics, and active/poised enhancers at cell type specific level. Computational methods will be used to define developmental trajectories and to integrate the multi-omics data processed with the aim to refine and prioritize coding and non-coding regions important for the brain development. By integrating GWAS risk-loci and common variants associated with disorders and complex traits, we will provide the association of neurogenomics of the human brain with neuropsychiatric disorders at coding and non-coding level.

Evolutionary Genomics

Our group will take advantage of cells and tissues from human and non-human primates to characterize the molecular mechanisms under evolution on the human lineage. Our group will take advantage of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from multiple great apes. Combining RNA-seq and ATAC-seq, we will uncover the human-specific evolutionary trajectories relevant for the maturation and proliferation of neuronal and glia derived cells. We will further take advantage of this in-vitro system as a platform for gene modeling. Integration with GWAS-risk loci will be performed to assess whether human-specific trajectories are affected by loci that put at risk for specific neuropsychiatric disorders.


Imaging Genomics

Imaging genomics is an emerging field that want to connect brain function with genomics and genetics. Our group will work on evolutionary neuroimaging genomics comparing human with non-human primates imaging data and associate human-specific brain activity with human specific genomics and risk-loci associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. We will also include disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Our group will apply and develop new imaging genomic tools to reconstruct these evolutionary trajectories and to link human-specific phenotypes from medical imaging with genomics and genetics.