The developing human cortex contains a massively expanded outer subventricular zone, not found in rodents, that contains neural progenitor cells responsible for an evolutionary increase in cortical size and complexity. Transcriptome profiling of these cells has provided a novel model of primate corticogenesis and provided insights into lissencephaly (smooth brain syndrome) and microcephaly (smaller than normal brain size).
In this lecture, Dr. Arnold Kriegstein will describe recent advances in our understanding of the unique features of human cortical development. He will highlight an evolutionary increase in the number of a specific subtype of neural stem cell, oRG cells, which in concert with their transit amplifying daughter cells, contributed to increased cortical size and complexity of the human brain. He will also describe how mRNA sequencing of single human progenitor cells and immature cortical neurons led to a novel model of human cortical development and provided insights into the origins of neurodevelopmental disease.
Dr. Kriegstein received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from New York University in 1977. He completed residency training in neurology at Harvard University and is a board-certified neurologist. He has held academic appointments at Stanford, Yale and Columbia. In 2004, he became the founding director of the Broad Stem Cell Center at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on development of the embryonic human and mouse brain.