Spotlight on Paola Arlotta
NYSCF — Robertson Investigator alumna and Harvard University professor Paola Arlotta, PhD, is a revolutionary in developmental neurobiology. She studies how the brain develops, looking at the intricate processes that take a cluster of cells in an embryo to a fully formed brain capable of cognition.
Dr. Arlotta has made several discoveries that challenged conventional wisdom in the field. She disproved the theory that neurons are assigned a certain identity in the embryo, discovered that neurons don’t all myelinate their axons in the same way, and is now a pioneer in creating brain organoids to study basic aspects of development.
It’s because of this groundbreaking work that Dr. Arlotta has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, the most recent being the George Ledlie Prize. This recognition is given to a Harvard affiliate who makes an outstanding contribution to science. Dr. Arlotta was also awarded a BRAIN Initiative grant by the National Institutes of Health. Funding from this initiative goes to researchers who strive to uncover how individual cells and complex circuits form and interact within the brain.
Dr. Arlotta is also a member of several important research groups and organizations, including the ReadCoor consortium—a group of researchers working to spatially map cortical cells using fluorescent in situ sequencing. This consortium has recently received funding from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (an initiative started by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg that invests in bold biomedical research) to continue their revolutionary work.