January iPSC Seminar: Early Drug Discovery Unit


Automated High-throughput synaptic screen in human-induced neurons

Martin Berryer, Ph.D.

The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT,

Talk Abstract

The synapse is a fundamental point of communication in the nervous system, and deeper insight into synaptic mechanisms is critical for our understanding of normal brain function as well as dysfunction in developmental and degenerative diseases. While diverse brain cell types can now be generated from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro, knowledge of human synaptogenesis remains incomplete. We therefore developed a novel and scalable assay for automated high-content quantification of synaptic development in vitro using human neurons and astrocytes. We employed this phenotypic screening strategy to uncover modulators of human synaptogenesis from a small molecule library and successfully identified a set of diverse compounds that increase the synaptic network connectivity in human neural co-culture. Our results demonstrate the power of phenotyping assay in human neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells and provide a robust platform for the interrogation of neuronal connectivity in developmental and degenerative diseases.

Thursday, January 27, 2022
4:00 – 5:00PM EST
Zoom (registration required)



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