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Image of Chong Li, PhD

Chong Li, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 at Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Chong Li received his Ph.D. degree in Human Genetics and Genomics from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in 2018. During his Ph.D. research in Dr. Grace Zhai’s lab, he used Drosophila as a model system to investigate mechanisms contributing to rare genetic neurological disorders and synaptic degeneration. After obtaining his Ph.D., he relocated to Austria and has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Jürgen Knoblich's lab at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His current research focuses on understanding the gene regulatory principles of human brain development and modeling brain disorders using stem cell-derived 3D brain organoids. He established the CRISPR-human organoids-single-cell RNA-seq (CHOOSE) system, a single-cell functional genomics approach to quantitatively study cell type-specific defects in neurodevelopmental disorders. He conducted pioneering research on disease-relevant screening of transcriptional and epigenetic regulators associated with autism. Through his work, he identified that certain neural progenitors, neurons, and gene regulatory networks are particularly susceptible to autism genetic perturbations. In this lecture, Dr. Li will introduce how cutting-edge single-cell genomics and high-throughput CRISPR screening in organoids can facilitate gene function and disease studies of the human brain.

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