Vaccarino Lab


The primary goal of the lab is the integration of cellular, molecular and genomic data to better understand how mammalian stem and progenitor cells differentiate and mature into neurons, particularly for the human brain. We are interested in the basic rules that govern the development of the mammalian brain and how these vary between normal and abnormal development, in particular autism spectrum disorders and Tourette syndrome. We use postmortem human brains, rodent models, and human-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), which we differentiate into cerebral organoids, 3D aggregates of developing cells that resemble miniature human brains. We study how neural stem cells differentiate into neurons, and analyze the genes and cellular interactions that are involved in this process. We then compare patient-derived neural organoids with those of unaffected individuals to understand the molecular and cellular bases of abnormal developmental trajectories. The Vaccarino Lab is led by Flora Vaccarino, MD, Harris Professor in the Child Study Center

Participant Eligibility/Benefits

Children with ASD and family members, individuals with Tourette Syndrome, normal individuals 

Participants are asked to contribute a small sample of skin and/or a urine sample (see:

Research Interest

We use human tissue, human stem cells and animal models to study how the brain develops in neuropsychiatric disor-ders.

IRB Study Title(s)

Integrated Approach to the Neurobiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Tourette Syndrome and Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 13

Contact Information

Flora Vaccarino