Anita Bhattacharyya, PHD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Cell and Regenerative Biology


Phone: 608-265-6142

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Nervous system, developmental disorders
Aligned Research Focus:
Basic stem cell science, drug discovery and testing
Anita Bhattacharyya headshot


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Research Description:

My research examines how brain development is altered in individuals with developmental disabilities. I am using human pluripotent stem cells to study the formation of the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the most complex area of the brain and is responsible for functions unique to humans, such as language and abstract thought. Problems with any of the cerebral cortex’s crucial development steps can lead to mental retardation.

My goal is to use stem cells to examine the alterations that occur in cortical development in Down syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome and autism. These studies will not only shed light on brain development in these developmental disorders, but will help our understanding of human brain development in general.

Selected References:
  • Huo HQ, Qu ZY, Yuan F, Ma L, Yao L, Xu M, Hu Y, Ji J, Bhattacharyya A, Zhang SC, Liu Y. (2018). Modeling Down Syndrome with Patient iPSCs Reveals Cellular and Migration Deficits of GABAergic Neurons. Stem Cell Reports, 10;10(4):1251-1266.
  • Li M, Zhao H, Ananiev GE, usser MT, Ness KH, Maglaque DL, Saha K, Bhattacharyya A, Zhao X. Establishment of Reporter Lines for Detecting Fragile X Mental Retardation (FMR1) Gene Reactivation in Human Neural Cells. Stem Cells. 2016 Jul 16;PubMed PMID: 27422057.
  • Bhattacharyya A, Zhao X. Human pluripotent stem cell models of Fragile X syndrome. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2016 Jun;73:43-51. PubMed PMID: 26640241; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4867245.
  • Doers ME, Musser MT, Nichol R, Berndt ER, Baker M, Gomez TM, Zhang SC, Abbeduto L, Bhattacharyya A. iPSC-derived forebrain neurons from FXS individuals show defects in initial neurite outgrowth. Stem Cells Dev. 2014 Aug 1;23(15):1777-87. PubMed PMID: 24654675; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4103262.
  • Weick JP, Held DL, Bonadurer GF 3rd, Doers ME, Liu Y, Maguire C, Clark A, Knackert JA, Molinarolo K, Musser M, Yao L, Yin Y, Lu J, Zhang X, Zhang SC, Bhattacharyya A. Deficits in human trisomy 21 iPSCs and neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 11;110(24):9962-7. PubMed PMID: 23716668; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3683748.