Carol Marchetto is a Staff Scientist at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA in the Laboratory of Genetics. She studies the behavior of different subtypes of human neurons and glial cells in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. Elucidation of those mechanisms may shed a light on the unique plasticity in the human nervous system and may help developing strategies for drug screen platforms and potential therapy candidates for human neurological diseases that have no treatment yet. Carol obtained her PhD degree in Biology with emphasis on the Ultraviolet (UV)-light damaging effects on skin cells at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Abstract: Using pluripotent stem cell models to study neuropsychiatric conditions
The major impediment to testing hypotheses and potential therapeutic interventions for neuropsychiatric disorders is the lack of relevant animal and cell models. Induced pluripotent stem cell technology provides a novel platform for modelling the genetic contribution to mental disorders and yields access to patient-specific cells for drug discovery and personalized medicine. Specifically, iPSC produces a relevant human cellular model for complex neurogenetic disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Here we study iPSC-derived neurons and glial cells from patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. We use different technologies to probe neuronal and glial functional changes that are potentially relevant to disease biology and can would likely lead to the development of clinically useful biomarkers of risk for this disorder, which may lead to the development of novel therapies.