Dr Sreeja Kumari Dhanya, postdoctoral fellow in Dr Bhavana Muralidharan’s lab at inStem has been awarded the prestigious MK Bhan-Young Research Fellowship to study the “Role of chromatin modifiers in regulating neocortical development and its neuropathological role in autism spectrum disorder”.

Chromatin and epigenetic regulators play a critical role in cerebral cortical development and aberrations in the epigenetic modifiers are the causative factor in many neurodevelopmental disorders. Putative risk variants in chromatin-remodelling factors have been associated with deficits in neurocognitive capacities in autism patients. The pathology of these mutations and the molecular mechanism underlying the deregulation by these pathogenic mutations during early cortical development needs further investigation. Here, we study the neurodevelopmental basis of cortical development and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using mouse model system. Our research work is expected to unravel the molecular phenotypes and regulatory pathways dysregulated in the neurodevelopmental disorders, thereby devising therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders.