Research overview

Kristen L. Kroll, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Developmental Biology

Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology Program, Molecular Cell Biology Program, Neuroscience Program 

Affiliated with Washington University Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC),  Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), Hope Center for Neurological Disorders (Hope Center), Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM). 

Our research focuses on defining gene regulatory networks that control neural cell specification, neurogenesis, and the generation of specific neuronal cell types. We are interested in understanding how epigenetic regulation modulates these networks and how their dysregulation contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders including epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability syndromes. This work uses directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells), mouse models, and a wide range of cellular, molecular, and genomic approaches, to define roles for transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in shaping developmental transitions.

The lab has three main research interests, outlined below:

  1. Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived-Neurons and Organoids.
  2. Modeling Human Cortical Interneuron Development and Its Dysregulation in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
  3. Gene Regulatory Networks That Regulate Neural Cell Fate Acquisition.

For more information see Research