Tuesday, March 27, 2012
General Biology Seminar
Using induced pluripotent stem cells to study autism and neuronal development
Ricardo Dolmetsch, Professor, Neurobiology, Stanford University
Ricardo Dolmetsch is a faculty member in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University. His laboratory is focused on understanding how calcium channels control the development of the brain and how this is altered in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. His group has developed methods for using induced pluripotent stem cells to study human brain development and for identifying cell and molecular phenotypes associated with disease. His laboratory has also made significant contributions to calcium channel biology including the identification of signaling pathways that connect calcium channels to gene activation and the identification of the mechanisms of activation of store operated calcium channels. Finally the lab has developed new technologies to study cell signaling including enzyme complementation systems to measure protein interactions in live cells and light-activated signaling proteins to control biochemical cascades. Dr. Dolmetsch has been recognized with several awards including a Searle Scholar and McKnight Scholar Award, Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award and the NIH Directors Pioneer Award.