Online BIH Lecture in Cooperation with the GSCN | Prof. Jürgen A. Knoblich: Cerebral Organoids - Modeling Human Development and Disease

BIH Lecture Series | Frontiers in Translational Medicine – Scientific and Structural Challenges

The human brain is unique in size and complexity, but also the source of some of the most devastating human diseases. While many of these disorders have been successfully studied in model organisms, recent experiments have emphasized unique features that can not easily be modeled in animals. The research group of Prof. Knoblich uses cerebral organoids to recapitulate those features in vitro and to test their role in human disease. Cerebral organoids derived from patients suffering from neuro-developmental disease can recapitulate the developmental defects leading to those diseases and allow us to disentangle the mechanistic complexity of disorders like epilepsy and autism. The new data of the Knoblich lab demonstrate that by studying those defects, unique insights into the development of the human cortex can be gained that cannot be made in rodent model organisms.

Jürgen A. Knoblich, Senior Scientist and Scientific Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences - IMBA, started his scientific career as a graduate student at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen where he worked on cell cycle control in Drosophila under the guidance of Christian Lehner. In 1994 he moved to San Francisco to join the laboratory of Yuh Nung and Lily Jan where he discovered his interest in asymmetric cell division, a topic that has remained the main focus of his research ever since. In 1997, Jürgen A. Knoblich returned to Europe to become a group leader at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (I.M.P.) in Vienna, Austria. In 2004, he moved next door to the newly founded Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA). He became a senior scientist and was appointed deputy director of the institute in 2005 and director in 2018.

Jürgen A. Knoblich received several awards such as the Wittgenstein prize, the Schrödinger award, the FEBS anniversary award and the Hans Krebs medal. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Board of Directors of ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research). He acts on the EMBO council  and the editorial boards of Current Biology, Current Opinion in Cell Biology and the Journal of Cell Biology.


12:00 - 1:00 pm: BIH Lecture

1:15 - 1:45 pm: Meet & Greet
After the BIH Lecture Prof. Knoblich will be available for further questions and discussions in a separate meeting. Dr. Daniel Besser from the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) will moderate the session.


Due to the current situation regarding the BIH Lecture will be held Online via GoToMeeting. To participate in the BIH Lecture, please register in advance. The registration will be open until maximal participant capacity is reached.

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Discussion via Chat Room

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The BIH Lecture will be recorded for the documentation on our website. If you do not wish to be recorded, please make sure your camera and microphone are turned off at any time.

Thank you for your cooperation!