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Our Faculty

Alysson R. Muotri

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular & Molecular Medicine University of California, San Diego

Read more about Dr. Muotri

Katerina Semendeferi

Professor, Department of Anthropology, Director of the Laboratory for Human Comparative Neuroanatomy, University of California San Diego

Read more about Dr. Semendeferi

Tiny Blobs of Brain Cells Could Reveal How Your Mind Differs from a Neanderthal’s

In recent years, scientists have figured out how to grow blobs of hundreds of thousands of live human neurons that look — and act — something like a brain. These so-called brain organoids have been used to study how brains develop into layers, how they begin to spontaneously make electrical waves and even how that development might change in zero gravity. Now researchers are using these pea-size clusters to explore our evolutionary past.

Read more about Tiny Blobs of Brain Cells


Muotri’s plans for brain organoids

It is nearly sunset, and Alysson Muotri ducks into a small, cluttered room in his expansive laboratory at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California. An incubator the size of a mini-fridge houses unusual residents — and he wants to make introductions.

Read Muotri’s plans for brain organoids


Support Us

Support stem cell research at UC San Diego under the direction of the Program Director. Currently under the direction of Alysson Muotri, Ph.D. (Fund Number: 4010)

Support Stem Cell Research