650 Charles E Young Dr. South
Department of Neurobiology
Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research
Los Angeles, CA 90095
650 Charles E Young Dr South
Los Angeles, CA 90095
The main goals of the Novitch laboratory are to determine the molecular pathways that direct the differentiation of neural stem and progenitor cells, and assembly of neural circuits. Most of their work focuses on the growth factor signals, transcriptional networks, and downstream effectors that control the formation of specific classes of neurons and glial cells in the developing brain and spinal cord. Insights into these fundamental mechanisms are essential for determining the function of stem and progenitor cells in both normal development and diseased states, and for developing methods to manipulate stem and progenitor cells to direct the generation of specific types of neurons and glial cells and facilitate the repair of damaged neural tissue. Projects within the laboratory span multiple areas including molecular and cellular biology, transcriptional regulation, cellular differentiation, stem cell biology, and neural development. Much of the Novitch lab's recent work has focused on applying our understanding of neural development to direct the formation of spinal cord and brain tissues from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells using both two-dimensional culture methods and recently developed three-dimensional organoid approaches. These technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate biological features of human development and pathologies that cannot be easily modeling in conventional model organisms such as mice. The lab seeks to apply these technologies towards modeling the formation and function of neural circuits and investigating the underlying causes of neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders as well as neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Novitch's interest in developmental biology and stem cell research grew out of work he did as a graduate student, studying the gene regulatory network that enables the formation of skeletal muscle. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Novitch identified growth factor signals and transcription factors that direct the formation of motor neurons in the spinal cord. His long-term goal is to discover how developmental mechanisms can be harnessed to program stem cells to form mature cells types with therapeutic and disease-modeling potential. His research already has led to the establishment of methods by which different classes of neurons, such as motor neurons, and three-dimensional brain structures can be generated in culture from pluripotent stem cells. In addition to being a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, Dr. Novitch also is affiliated with the Brain Research Institute, UCLAs Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecular Biology Institute and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. He also is a member of the Society for Developmental Biology and the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Novitch is currently a Professor of Neurobiology and holds the Ethel Scheibel Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Novitch joined the UCLA faculty from the University of Michigan, where he was an Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. He earned his Masters degree in Medical Sciences in 1993 from Harvard Medical School and his Doctoral degree in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 1998 from Harvard University. He also completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. Dr. Novitch's work is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institude of Child Health and Human Development, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Does this profile need updating? Contact Us