We are interested in the basic programs that govern the development of the mammalian telencephalon and in how these basic programs vary during evolution and among individuals, particularly individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders. We use rodent models, postmortem human brains and human-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, which we differentiate into cerebral organoids. Our analytical tools include immunocytochemical and molecular techniques to study how neural stem cells differentiate, morphometric tools such as stereology, and high throughput sequencing for the analysis of cellular genomes, transcriptomes and regulatory regions. The integration of cellular, molecular and genomic data to achieve a better understanding of how mammalian stem and progenitor cells differentiate and mature into neurons, particularly for the human brain, is a primary goal of the lab.

Initiatives in which we participate:

Program in Neurodevelopment & Regeneration

This collaborative interdepartmental program at Yale University, is leading interdisciplinary studies on iPSCs, neural stem cells and human development. The Vaccarino lab is striving to integrate human and mouse studies to better understand the development of the human telencephalon.


This collaborative multi-site project is generating a catalog of coding and noncoding RNAs and functional DNA elements in the developing and adult human brain and psychiatric disorders.

Brain Somatic Mosaicism Network

This multi-site project is working to identify the extent and type of somatic mutations in brain cell lineages and psychiatric disorders.

Lab Group Photo