Romanian-born doctor Sergiu Pasca named Researcher of the Year


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The Schizophrenia International Research Society has named the Romanian-born Sergiu Pașca, M.D.,  2021  Basic  Research  Awardee. Dr. Sergiu Pasca is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Director of Stanford Brain Organogenesis.

“A physician by training, Dr Pasca is interested in understanding the rules governing brain assembly and the mechanisms of disease. Dr Pasca developed some of the initial in-a-dish models of disease by deriving neurons from skin cells taken from patients with genetic neurodevelopmental disorders. His laboratory at Stanford introduced the use of instructive signals for reproducibly deriving from stem cells self-organizing 3D cellular structures named brain region-specific spheroids or organoids. Dr. Pasca also pioneered a modular system to integrate 3D brain region-specific organoids and study migration and neural circuit formation in functional preparations known as assembloids. His laboratory has applied these models to gain novel insights into human physiology, evolution and disease mechanisms, and supported researchers around the world in learning and implementing these techniques”, reads the SIRS website.

“I am humbled to be selected by the committee and humbled to join such a group of illustrious awardees of this prize. I am truly fortunate to have a talented group of trainees and wonderful group of mentors and colleagues at Stanford and beyond. This is such an exciting time for neuroscience and the quest to understand the biology of the human brain. The arsenal of tools we have available now, including human cellular and 3D assembloid models of disease, put us in a great position to ask daring questions and develop a new psychiatry that is based on a biological understanding of the human brain,” said the Romanian doctor.

Sergiu Pasca has won several prizes in the previous years. He studied Medicine in Romania before moving to the U.S.

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