Lab members

Paola Arlotta

HSCRB
Associate Professor

Dr. Arlotta received her Master’s in Biochemistry from the University of Trieste, Italy and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Portsmouth in the UK. She subsequently completed her postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School. In 2008, she became an Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and is now an Associate Professor in the same department. Since 2007, she has been a principal Faculty Member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

 

I am interested in understanding the molecular underpinnings that govern the birth, differentiation, and assembly into working circuitry of clinically relevant neuron types. The complexity of the nervous system fascinates me and I am moved to integrate developmental and evolutionary knowledge to inform novel strategies for circuit repair in the cerebral cortex.

 

Click here for a listing of Paola Arlotta's publications.

Celia Shneider

Celia Shneider

HSCRB
Faculty Assistant
Zachary Trayes-Gibson

Zachary Trayes-Gibson

HSCRB
Lab Manager
Simona Lodato

Simona Lodato

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow

I joined the Arlotta lab in the fall 2007 as a visiting PhD student at the European School of Molecular Biology (SEMM) in Naples where I was studying the intrinsic mechanisms that during development specify different types of inhibitory cortical interneurons during development. In the Arlotta lab I became interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the interaction between excitatory projection neurons and inhibitory interneurons and which therefore control the establishment of functional circuitry in the mammalian cerebral cortex. I successfully defended my PhD thesis in 2011.

 

I received my Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Naples in 2004 and as an undergraduate I studied the role of the transcription factor COUP-TFI in the specification and migration of cortical interneurons in Michele Studer's lab at TIGEM, in Naples.

John Sherwood

John Sherwood

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ashwin Shetty

Ashwin Shetty

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow
Giulio Srubek Tomassy

Giulio Srubek Tomassy

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow

I joined the lab in the fall 2009 for my second postdoc. Previously, I worked at the Italian Telethon institute (TIGEM) where I first approached the study of the cerebral cortex development. I studied the molecular mechanisms controlling the early areal patterning of the cortex in the embryo and I slowly became fascinated by the many neuronal and non neuronal cell types that can emerge from a relative simple and apparently uniform layer of progenitor cells. This is indeed THE fundamental question behind all studies of developmental biology: how does nature achieve complexity?  That is, what are the signals that allow the incredible journey that culminates with a living organism and where are they, both in time and in space?

 

The cerebral cortex is perhaps one of the most complex structures of the entire CNS and it stands as a continuous challenge for us with all its layers, areas, neuronal subtypes[PA9]  and afferent and efferent connections. One aspect that is slowly emerging is that different cell types may “collaborate” in order to generate the intrinsic puzzle that makes the adult cortex.  In particular, I am personally interested in understanding the neuron to glia relation; I am trying to understand if and how different neurons of the cortex affect the differentiation and final maturation of the oligodendrocytes (the myelin-forming cells), what the signals are and, eventually, if it would be possible to use those signals to make new myelin.

I hope my studies will help to shed new light on fundamental biological questions and perhaps will further the development of new strategies to treat pathological states associated with myelin loss or damage like Multiple Sclerosis or Canavan disease.

Wen Yuan

Wen Yuan

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow
Emanuela Zuccaro

Emanuela Zuccaro

HSCRB
Postdoctoral Fellow

I graduated in Biotechnology at University of Salento and did my thesis work on the role of Rac3 in the CNS, under the supervision of Dr. Ivan De Curtis at San Raffele, Milano. During my Ph.D at University of Genoa, under the guidance of Dr. Marco Canossa, I investigated the role of neurotrophin receptors on the axonal specification and the integration of newborn neurons during development and adult neurogenesis.

I joined the Arlotta lab as a graduate student in the summer of 2011, and after graduation in April 2012, I started work as a postdoctoral fellow. I am interested in the investigation of the role of a particular transcription factor critical for the development of corticospinal motor neurons.

Juliana Brown

Juliana Brown

HSCRB
Research Associate
Hsu-Hsin Chen

Hsu-Hsin Chen

HSCRB
Research Associate

May Chen

HSCRB
Research Associate
Ryoji Amamoto

Ryoji Amamoto

HSCRB
Graduate Student
Salman Bhai

Salman Bhai

HSCRB
Graduate Student
James Harris

James Harris

HSCRB
Graduate Student

Mohammed Mostajo Radji

HSCRB
Graduate Student

I joined the Arlotta lab in the spring of 2012 as a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. My research interests focus in the epigenetics of neuronal development. I am currently working on direct reprogramming and transdifferentiation of cortical neurons. Additionally, I am interested in science policy development with respect to stem cells.

Before beginning my studies at Harvard, I received my B.S. in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics and a minor in Science, Technology and Society from the Rochester Institute of Technology. There I worked in Dina Newman’s lab, where I studied the role of the PYCS gene in Presbycusis (age-related hearing-loss). I have also worked for Robert Dirksen at the University of Rochester, studying allele-specific gene silencing in autosomal dominant skeletal myopathies, such as Central Core Disease and Malignant Hyperthermia. Additionally, I have worked for Roger Tsien at the University of California San Diego, in the development of dual modality imaging probes that combine fluorescence with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) technologies.

Loy RE, Mostajo-Radji MA, Lueck JD, Dirksen RT. Allele Specific Gene Silencing in Autosomal-Dominant Skeletal Myopathies. Biophysical Journal 98 (3) 712a-713a

Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin

HSCRB
Research Technician
Edward Stronge

Edward Stronge

HSCRB
Research Technician
Andrea Brettler

Andrea Brettler

HSCRB
Undergraduate Student
Lori Dershowitz

Lori Dershowitz

HSCRB
Undergraduate Student
Travis Hallett

Travis Hallett

HSCRB
Undergraduate Student

Dennis Sun

HSCRB
Undergraduate Student