Tianyi Liu awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Congratulations to our undergraduate student Tianyi Liu for being awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from UNC-Chapel Hill!  Tianyi was selected by Honors Carolina to receive a William W. and Ida W. Taylor Honors Mentored Research Fellowship within SURF.  The competition for this award was intense, 135 applications from a variety of fields were received and only 62 were awarded.  Stein Lab and SURF are looking forward to seeing the results from the fellowship.

Oleh Krupa receives travel award

Congratulations to Biomedical Engineering graduate student Oleh Krupa, who received a trainee travel award to attend the April 2018 BRAIN Initiative PI meeting in Washington, DC!

Paper published in Cell on the Dynamic Landscape of Open Chromatin during Human Neurogenesis

Our paper was just published in Cell on the Dynamic Landscape of Open Chromatin during Human Neurogenesis.  In this paper, we've mapped previously unknown regulatory elements to genes during human neurogenesis - including with genetically engineered validation of novel regulatory elements of EOMES and FGFR11, we identified some novel transcription factors that may be related to human neurogenesis, and finally we found that genetic variation within proliferation related regulatory elements impacts adult brain size and risk for neuropsychiatric diseases.

http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)31494-0

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Mike Lafferty receives BCB Training Grant

Congratulations to Mike Lafferty for receiving the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology NIH-supported training grant (T32 GM 067553)! Mike is a second year graduate student working on QTL analyses.

A brief description of the ENIGMA consortium

Here is a brief description of what we're doing in the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analsysis (ENIGMA) consortium.  Thanks to Paul Thompson, Aggie McMahon, and Sophia Thomopoulos for putting this together!

We welcome 3 new members!

We welcome 3 new members to the Stein lab! Shana Hall is a postdoc with Jessica Cohen and doing a postdoctoral rotation in our lab to work on imaging genetics projects. Zach Humphrey and Tianyi Liu are both undergraduates working on automated recognition of cells within 3D microscopy images of the brain.

Chromatin interaction paper in developing human brain published

Congrats to Hyejung Won in Dan Geschwind's lab for publishing a paper in Nature on chromatin interaction via Hi-C in the developing human brain. This paper gives new insights into the genes (mis)regulated by schizophrenia risk alleles.  We find that genetic variants associated with risk for schizophrenia in non-coding and functionally undefined regions of the genome are physically interacting with some previously suspected genes as well as some new genes.  One step closer to understanding the biological pathways creating genetic risk for a complicated psychiatric disease.

Genetics of intracranial volume paper published in Nature Neuroscience

Our most recent paper of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-analysis consortium was just published in Nature Neuroscience. We identified 7 loci significantly influencing the structure of the human brain, some near very interesting neural genes (IGF1, FOXO3).  Most interesting is the genetic correlation between intracranial volume and adult cognitive ability - the same genetic variants that influence the size of your brain also (in part) influence your cognitive ability later in life!  Pretty exciting functional impacts of structural differences.

 

 

Review published on autism genetics and neurobiology

We published a review in Nature Medicine on autism genetics and neurobiology.  We present on what we view as the current state of the field, showing that there is much genetic variation creating risk for autism yet to be discovered.  We also detail some of the neurobiological hypotheses that have been put forward based on the genetic findings.  Finally, we talk about the model systems used to study autism and their results as well as limitations.