Columbia University in the City of New York

May 17, 20221:00 pm

Stem cell approaches to understand acquired and genetic epilepsies

Featuring Jenny Hsieh, Professor of Biology, Semmes Foundation Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cell Biology, Director of the UTSA Brain Health Consortium

May 17th, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (9th floor lecture hall)

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The Hsieh lab focuses on the mechanisms that promote neural stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in embryonic and adult brain. Using mouse models, video-EEG monitoring, viral techniques, and imaging/electrophysiological approaches, we elucidated many of the key transcriptional/epigenetic regulators of adult neurogenesis and showed aberrant new neuron integration in adult rodent hippocampus contribute to circuit disruption and seizure development. Building on this work, I will present our recent studies describing how GABA-mediated Ca2+ activity regulates the production of aberrant adult-born granule cells. In a second direction of my laboratory, we are using human induced pluripotent stem cells and brain organoid models as approaches to understand brain development and disease. Mutations in one gene, Aristaless-related homeobox (ARX), are of considerable interest since they are known to cause a common spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy, autism, and intellectual disability. We have generated cortical and subpallial organoids from patients with poly-alanine expansion mutations in ARX. To understand the nature of ARX mutations in the organoid system, we are currently performing cellular, molecular, and physiological analyses. I will present these data to gain a comprehensive picture of the effect of ARX mutations on brain development. Since we do not understand how human brain development is affected by ARX mutations that contribute to epilepsy, we believe these studies will allow us to understand the mechanism of pathogenesis of ARX mutations, which has the potential to impact the diagnosis and care of patients.

Those wishing to meet the speaker should contact Julia Castello Saval.

The Columbia Neuroscience Seminar series is a collaborative effort of Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, the Department of Neuroscience, the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative, and with support from the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.

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