All multicellular organisms originate from a single totipotent cell, which subsequently generates all cell types in the organism. The mechanisms governing the emergence and maintenance of distinct cell fates during development remain an active area of research in the fields of biology and epigenetics.

The precise regulation of gene expression is essential to facilitate these developmental transitions. Within the cell’s nucleus, a meticulously orchestrated ensemble of epigenetic factors—including epigenetic readers, writers, erasers, and transcription factors—collaborate to ensure that genes are activated or repressed with precision, according to the specific timing and spatial requirements during development.

Our laboratory is dedicated to reconstituting these intricate processes in an in vitro setting using brain organoids. We cultivate brain organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells, observing the emergence of diverse cell fates and the development of distinct brain regions. By employing single-cell epigenomic techniques, we analyze the changes in the epigenome that underlie developmental plasticity and reconstruct the intricate gene regulatory networks governing embryonic brain development.

In parallel, we investigate the functional roles of chromatin modifiers within brain organoids to elucidate their impact on brain development.