The CORTEX teams working on development are known for discovering unique features of corticogenesis. Given the role of the cortex (including prefrontal cortex) in cognitive processes these teams investigate the gene regulatory networks of cortical precursors, the regulation of their cell cycle and its contribution to determining the cortical cytoarchitecture. Modeling this data will allow simulation of self-organizing neural networks.
The team working on embryonic stem (ES) cells is known for its pioneering work on reprogramming the cell cycle control of ES-cells. Here they adapt these techniques to manipulate simian induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSs), reprogramming them to be naïve and so able to colonizing the embryo and form chimaeras. This will allow: (i) Exploration of the genome integrity and the safety of iPSs produced by different reprogramming paradigms; (ii) Exploration of corticogenesis using chimaeras of genes that control brain development and function; (iii) Generation of models of human monogenic diseases.