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CerebralHominoids SIGNED

Evolutionary biology of human and great ape brain development in cerebral organoids

Total Cost €

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EC-Contrib. €

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Partnership

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Project "CerebralHominoids" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Coordinator
UNITED KINGDOM RESEARCH AND INNOVATION 

Organization address
address: POLARIS HOUSE NORTH STAR AVENUE
city: SWINDON
postcode: SN2 1FL
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙444˙911 €
 EC max contribution 1˙444˙911 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-07-01   to  2023-06-30

 Partnership

Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNITED KINGDOM RESEARCH AND INNOVATION UK (SWINDON) coordinator 1˙444˙911.00

Map

 Project objective

Humans are endowed with a number of advanced cognitive abilities not seen in other species. So what allows the human brain to stand out from the rest in these capabilities? In general, the brains of primates, including humans, have more neurons per unit volume than other mammals. But humans are also in the fortunate position of having the largest of the primate brains, making the number of neurons in the human cerebral cortex greatly expanded. Thus, the difference seems to be a matter of quantity, not quality. My laboratory is interested in understanding how neuron number, and thus brain size, is determined in human brain development. The research proposed here is aimed at taking an evolutionary approach to this question and comparing brain development in an in vitro 3D model system, cerebral organoids. This method, which relies on self-organization from differentiating pluripotent stem cells, recapitulates remarkably well the endogenous developmental program of the human brain. Having previously established the brain organoid approach, and more recently improved upon it with the application of bioengineering, my laboratory is in a unique position to carry out functional studies of human brain development. I propose to use this approach to compare developing human brain tissue to that of other hominid species and tease apart unique features of human neural stem cells and progenitors that allow them to generate more neurons and therefore a greater cerebral cortical size. Furthermore, we will perform transcriptomic and functional screening to identify factors underlying this expansion, followed by careful genetic substitution to test the contributions of putative evolutionary changes. In this way, we will functionally test putative human evolutionary changes in a manner not previously possible.

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The information about "CEREBRALHOMINOIDS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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