Andre M. Sousa, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Waisman Center, Department of Neuroscience


Website: Website

Phone: (608) 890-0875

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Human brain development and evolution, neurodevelopmental disorders, psychiatric disorders
Aligned Research Focus:
Human and non-human primate iPS cells to study development and evolution, neuroepithelial stem cells, cell specification



Research Description:

The broad goals of our research program are to identify and characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern human brain development and evolution, and to apply that knowledge towards understanding neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

We apply a multifaceted approach that combines: 1) genomic studies to identify the genes and the regulatory elements that control their expression, thus elucidating human-specific aspects of brain development; 2) developmental neurobiology studies to characterize the functions of those candidate genes in the development of the brain; 3) molecular and cellular biology studies that inform the mechanisms that are disrupted by alterations in those genes, particularly the ones that are associated to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders.

To achieve these goals, since the human brain is not amenable to direct experimentation, we use a combination of human postmortem tissue, mouse genetic models, and in in vitro cultures, such as primary cells, neuroepithelial stem cells, iPS cells, and organotypic slices.

Selected References: 

  1. Franjic D*, Skarica M*, Ma S*, Arellano JI*, Tebbenkamp ATN*, Choi J, Xu C, Li Q, Morozov YM, Andrijevic D, Vrselja Z, Spajic A, Santpere G, Li M, Zhang S, Liu Y, Spurrier J, Zhang L, Gudelj I, Rapan L, Takahashi H, Huttner A, Fan R, Strittmatter SM, Sousa AMM, Rakic P, Sestan N. Transcriptomic taxonomy and neurogenic trajectories of adult human, macaque, and pig hippocampal and entorhinal cells. Neuron. 2022 Feb 2;110(3):452-469.
  2. Shibata M*, Pattabiraman K*, Lorente-Galdos B, Andrijevic D, Kim SK, Kaur N, Muchnik SK, Xing X, Santpere G, Sousa AMM, Sestan N. Regulation of prefrontal patterning and connectivity by retinoic acid. Nature. 2021 Oct;598(7881):483-488.
  3. Amiri A*, Coppola G*, Scuderi S*, Wu F*, Roychowdhury T*, Liu F, Pochareddy S, Shin Y, Safi A, Song L, Zhu Y, Sousa AMM, Gerstein M, Crawford GE, Sestan N, Abyzov A, Vaccarino FM. Transcriptome and epigenome landscape of human cortical development modeled in organoids. Science. 2018 Dec 14;362(6420).
  4. Sousa AMM*, Zhu Y*, Raghanti MA, Kitchen RR, Onorati M, Tebbenkamp ATN, Stutz B, Meyer KA, Li M, Kawasawa YI, Liu F, Perez RG, Mele M, Carvalho T, Skarica M, Gulden FO, Pletikos M, Shibata A, Stephenson AR, Edler MK, Ely JJ, Elsworth JD, Horvath TL, Hof PR, Hyde TM, Kleinman JE, Weinberger DR, Reimers M, Lifton RP, Mane SM, Noonan JP, State MW, Lein ES, Knowles JA, Marques-Bonet T, Sherwood CC, Gerstein MB, Sestan N. Molecular and cellular reorganization of neural circuits in the human lineage. Science. 2017 Nov 24;358(6366):1027-1032.
  5. Onorati M*, Li Z*, Liu F*, Sousa AMM*, Nakagawa N, Li M, Dell’Anno MT, Gulden FO, Pochareddy S, Tebbenkamp ATN, Han W, Pletikos M, Gao T, Zhu Y, Bichsel C, Varela L, Szigeti-Buck K, Lisgo S, Zhang Y, Testen A, Gao XB, Mlakar J, Popovic M, Flamand M, Strittmatter SM, Kaczmarek LK, Anton ES, Horvath TL, Lindenbach BD, Sestan N. Zika Virus Disrupts Phospho-TBK1 Localization and Mitosis in Human Neuroepithelial Stem Cells and Radial Glia. Cell Rep. 2016 Sep 6;16(10):2576-2592.