Jennifer Erwin PhD

Investigator, Lieber Institute for Brain Development; Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
Telephone Number: 443-287-9612

Lieber Institute for Brain Development
855 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: 3rd Floor, Rangos Building
Areas of Research
Developmental Neuroscience
Cellular + Molecular Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease

Graduate Program Affiliations

Neuroscience Training Program

Mechanisms of gene-by-environment interactions in human brain disorders

Schizophrenia, autism and other neurological disorders are caused by a complex interaction between inherited genetic risk and environmental experiences. The overarching goal of the group are to reveal molecular mechanisms of gene by environment interactions related to altered neural development and liability for brain disorders. Our research uses a hybrid ofhuman stem cell models, post-mortem tissue and computational approaches to interrogate the contribution of epigenetic regulationand somatic mosaicism to brain diseases.  Our previous work has demonstrated that the human brain exhibits extensive geneticvariability between neurons within the same brain, termed “somatic mosaicism” due to mobile DNA elements which mediate largesomatic DNA copy number variants. We study environment-responsive mechanisms and consequences for somatic mosaicism and are discovering the landscape of somatic mosaicism in the brain. We also study the epigenetic regulation of cell specification and activity-dependent states within the human dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and striatum.

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