Cheryl Brandenburg

Cheryl Brandenburg, PhD

Postdoc, T32 fellow

Contact: cherylbrandenburg{at}

Lab space: HSF3 room 9130

Cheryl’s publications on Google Scholar

Cheryl’s research goals center around developing support for individuals with autism after having worked as an in-home therapist for children on the spectrum.  Her dissertation studies focused on postmortem autism brain tissue and uncovering circuit alterations across individuals.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia became her primary regions of interest and, as a postdoc, she is currently working to characterize the impact of autism-associated genes on the development of cerebellar circuitry.  To accomplish this, she has optimized techniques for CRISPR genome editing, cerebellar in utero electroporation, clearing and light sheet imaging of rodent brains to quantify Purkinje topography in a 3D space.  By understanding circuit and signaling alterations, Cheryl hopes to one day understand the cerebellum’s contribution to challenging sensorimotor behaviors in autism.

Supported by:

Posts featuring Cheryl:

Cheryl’s light sheet electroporated hippocampus on the cover of JCN!

Our paper with Gene Blatt in Journal of Comparative Neurology on the evolution of neuroanatomical tracing methods came out today with Cheryl’s beautiful electroporated, cleared, and light sheet imaged hippocampus gracing the cover, alongside Dee Pandya’s India Ink traces. Happy New Year everyone!

Light sheet electroporated hippocampus on the cover of JCN

Neuroligin-3 paper out in Biological Psychiatry!

Just out, our paper on the biology of a synaptic adhesion molecule critically implicated in autism, published in Biological Psychiatry!

This massive paper includes outstanding work from scientists and collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Germany, and the University of Turin in Italy. It includes some of the first ever imaging of human synapses (spot the cool cup-shaped presynaptic terminals nestled in the human brainstem ????!), and identifies a molecular mechanism that determines the synaptic localization and transmitter-specificity of Neuroligin-3 between excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the brain. Congrats to everyone involved, a great way to end the year!

Region-Specific Phosphorylation Determines Neuroligin-3 Localization to Excitatory versus Inhibitory Synapses


Cas9-RC on the cover of The CRISPR Journal!

Ryan Richardson’s paper describing the development of Cas9-RC, a new CRISPR agent with increased performance for knockin, is out in the October 2023 issue of The CRISPR Journal.

Not only that, but the paper got the cover! Kudos to Cheryl Brandenburg for the beautiful image of knockin neurons and astrocytes using Cas9-RC in the developing mouse brain. Congrats to the whole team for concluding this large piece of Synth Bio meets Dev Neurosci!

We would be delighted to have you try out Cas9-RC for your own knockin needs. Plasmids will become available on Addgene within the next few days!

Cas9-RC Knockin on the cover of The CRISPR Journal