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Studying Human Brain Organoids – Stem Cell Models of Autism

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Cortical organoids are groups of human brain cells grown in a dish that model some aspects of how a human brain develops and functions. The Stein lab ( in the Department of Genetics and UNC Neuroscience Center is seeking motivated undergraduates to assist in image analysis as part of a larger project studying how 3D human cortical organoids model brain development and cellular processes contributing to brain size increases in autism spectrum disorder. Undergraduate research assistants will work as a part of a team to test if organoid size correlates with brain size or quantify organoid quality. Students will become familiar with image analysis and organoid cultures.

If you are considering graduate school, this would be a great opportunity to work in a neuroscience research lab. You will be invited to present at lab meetings once a semester and can optionally attend weekly journal clubs, which are great opportunities to learn more about human brain development, stem cell models, and genetics. If students are able to complete this analysis in a timely fashion, other opportunities to work in Stein lab will be available as well. Our lab has had several undergraduate students do research for credit (395) or complete undergraduate honors theses.
Attention to detail, timeliness, consistent scheduling and clear communication are essential to this position. Students must be able to commit 10 hours per week for the academic year.

Faculty Advisor
Jason Stein
Research Supervisor
Tala Farah
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