Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Faculty Advisors: Sergiu Pasca (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences) and Bianxiao Cui (Chemistry)

Research Title: Capturing astrocyte and oligodendrocyte interaction in Vanishing White Matter Disease-derived neural spheroids

Research Description: Communication between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes is essential for normal brain development and function. Photo of graduate student Rebecca Marton in the lab, using a Leica machine.The breakdown of these interactions causes abnormal glial development and myelination and can result in a range of human glial disorders. As models to study human astrocyte and oligodendrocyte interactions are limited, Rebecca plans to develop the first 3D in vitro model to generate astrocyte and oligodendrocytes, and to apply a combination of this method and high throughput nanofabricated arrays to study glial disorders from patient-derived and CRISPR-engineered induced pluripotent stem cells.  This project combines the fields of psychiatry, chemistry, and neurology to study devastating and poorly understood glial disorders in vitro.


Rebecca is a Senior Scientific Researcher at Genentech.