Valentina Fossati, PhD

Senior Research Investigator, Multiple Sclerosis & Neurodegeneration

2009 NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellow Alumna

PhD, University of Bologna


Dr. Fossati leads NYSCF’s multiple sclerosis (MS) program and is a NYSCF–Druckenmiller Postdoctoral Fellow Alumna. She joined NYSCF as a NYSCF-Helmsley investigator in 2011, where she became an expert in stem cell models of the brain and neurodegenerative disease.

Dr. Fossati obtained her PhD in stem cell biology from the University of Bologna, working on hematopoietic stem cells and immune system development. During her postdoctoral work at Mount Sinai School of Medicine she worked on embryonic stem cells differentiation to thymic epithelial cells. After being diagnosed with MS in 2009, Dr. Fossati shifted her research to better understanding this disease.

Bringing stem cell expertise to MS research, she has pioneered methods to convert patient stem cells into all major brain cell types, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia, which provide vital support to neurons and are implicated in neurodegeneration. By building living models of the brain in a dish, Dr. Fossati is uncovering the role of these cells in diseases like MS and Alzheimer’s, with the ultimate aim of enabling drug discovery and cell replacement therapies. Dr. Fossati also leads NYSCF’s efforts to develop miniature 3D versions of the brain called “organoids” from human stem cells, which recapitulate the brain’s environment and have become very useful for studying brain development and disease.

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