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!
For all genome editing fans out there, check out our latest study on bioRxiv showcasing in utero prime editing to model an epilepsy patient with an ultra-rare GRIN variant. To our knowledge, this marks a significant milestone as the first prime editing of neurons in vivo!
Led by Colin Robertson in our lab, alongside Patrick Davis from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, this ambitious project aims to make precision medicine more accessible to a broad patient population. This rapid workflow to generate personalized animal models with prime editing we hope is a step toward enabling individuals with rare genetic epilepsies to test and tailor pharmacotherapy on their personalized models, reducing the burdens of exploring treatments.
A big thank you for the collaborative efforts of the team, including our partner UM-MIND labs of Peter Crino, Phil Iffland, Steffen Wolff, Brian Mathur, and Ivy Dick; as well as our wonderful collaborators from U Pitt, Eldin Jašarević, and UC Anschutz, Tracy Bale! Thank you all for this achievement and the fantastic collaboration we enjoy!
We look forward to this research advancing toward bedside-to-bench applications!
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!
Garrett hosts NOVA’s Halal on the Lawn, then gives a talk on the lncRNA he discovered; Andrea does supply runs, then gives a talk on multiplexing schizophrenia risk genes with CRISPR; Elise handles donation logistics, and attends both talks! And at the end of a good day’s work, the lab celebrates Alex’s birthday.
Two-out-of-two for the lab’s posters at this year’s Program in Neuroscience retreat! Colin Robertson got the “Most innovative experimental design” prize for his poster on “In Vivo Prime Editor Introduces Patient Epilepsy Mutation in the Rodent Brain to Recapitulate Seizures” and Andrea Romanowski accepted a crown and scepter for the “Rule a kingdom” prize for her poster on “Multiplexed manipulation of gene dosage of schizophrenia risk genes using Cas9 fusions changes layer position of cortical neurons”. Congrats PouLab grad students!!!
Congratulations to Philip Iffland and the Peter Crino Lab –with help from PouLab grad student Andrea Romanowski among the collaborator team– for the publication of a massive piece of work just out in Brain, spanning the fields of human genetics, cell biology, genome editing, electrophysiology, and brain development to identify the gene (NPRL3) and mechanisms that cause epilepsy in affected patients.