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The Vaccarino Lab


We are interested in the basic programs that govern the development of the mammalian brain and how they vary among individuals and in neuropsychiatric disorders. We use human brains, human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and in vitro models such as stem cell derived brain organoids. We have generated a biobank encompassing several hundreds of iPSC lines from families with autism, Tourette syndrome, and other developmental disorders. Our analytical tools include high throughput sequencing for the analysis of cellular genomes, transcriptomes, and gene regulatory regions. Our primary goal is the integration of cellular, molecular and genomic data to achieve a better understanding of how stem and progenitor cells differentiate and mature into different types of neurons that populate different regions of the human brain.

Initiatives in which we participate:

Program in Neurodevelopment & Regeneration

This collaborative interdepartmental program is leading interdisciplinary studies on iPSCs, somatic mosaicism, neural stem cells and human development. It includes investigators from the Yale Child Study Center, the Departments of Neuroscience, Pathology, Genetics, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, and laboratories at Stanford and the Mayo Clinic.


This collaborative multi-site project is generating a catalog of coding and noncoding RNAs and regulatory DNA elements in the developing and adult human brain and psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorder.

Somatic Mosaicism Across Human Tissues

The SMaHT Network aims to transform our understanding of how somatic mosaicism in human cells influences biology and disease.

Brain Somatic Mosaicism Network

This multi-site project worked to identify the extent and type of somatic mutations in brain cell lineages and psychiatric disorders such as autism, Tourette syndrome, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.