Neuronal migration is a fundamental step in the development of the central nervous system (Figure 1). Malformations of the human neocortex due to defects in neuronal positioning are present in >1% of the general population and represent a major cause of developmental disabilities and severe epilepsies. In order to understand the biological mechanisms and therefore identify potential therapies for cortical malformations, we need to first discover the regulation of all processes of cortical development. We therefore need mouse models that mimic the human disorders to be available and an in vitro/in vivo approach that enables us to translate the finding into human cells/brain. Once we know whether the cellular and molecular mechanisms are maintained between the two species, we can look at the circuitry and connectivity and identify the common regulators. We can also seek candidate molecules to use for potential therapy.
Silvia Cappello about her work with brain organoids