Dr. Quadrato’s laboratory focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of human brain development and disease. By combining the use of emerging models of the human brain with single cell omics approaches, the laboratory is aiming to identify cell type specific disease mechanisms, and above all, new treatments for human neurodevelopmental disorders.


Kidney organoids with proximal tubules (Image by Jack Schnell/Lindström Lab)

$3.95 million CIRM grant establishes USC ASCEND Center to make stem cell-derived organ models accessible to all

To democratize access to lab-grown organ-like structures known as organoids and other advanced stem cell and transcriptomic technologies, USC will launch the CIRM ASCEND Center, dedicated to “Advancing Stem Cell Education and …

Lab-grown 6-month-old human Purkinje cell (Image by Alexander Atamian and Marcella Birtele/Quadrato Lab)

USC Stem Cell scientists develop a game-changing organoid model to study human cerebellar development and disease

In a first for USC Stem Cell scientists, the laboratory of Giorgia Quadrato, an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, has pioneered a novel human brain organoid model that …

Building an Incubator for Medicine of the 21st Century

Building an Incubator for Medicine of the 21st Century

USC Stem Cell is pleased to introduce our new publication. We hope you’ll enjoy reflecting back on our history, while looking ahead to the transformative times to come. Read now at

Two sculptures representing a human neuron and a radial glia cell, inspired by the findings published by the Quadrato Lab in Nature Neuroscience. (Sculptures by Jane Kwak; photo by Sergio Bianco)

The Autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 could impact early stages of human brain development, USC study reveals

New research shows that variants of SYNGAP1, a gene previously thought only to affect synapses between mature neurons, may disrupt early development in the brain’s cortex, a region involved in higher-order cognitive …

(Photo by William Vasta)

USC doubles the number of scholarships for stem cell master’s students

This year, ten students earned scholarships that enabled them to attend USC’s master’s program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, one of the only programs of its kind in the United …

Kuo-Chang (Ted) Tseng from the Crump Lab and Michelle Hung from the Ichida Lab enjoy a beachside brainstorm.

Scientists feel the sand between their toes at the retreat for USC’s stem cell department

A pair of young scientists picked up a piece of driftwood and thoughtfully traced a series of letters in the wet sand of Ventura Beach. The word “microglia”—referring to the immune cells …

Min Yu (Photo by Chris Shinn)

USC Stem Cell scientist Min Yu brainstorms new ways to beat breast cancer

For USC cancer researcher Min Yu, starting her lab meant building a culture of like-minded scientists. When she first joined the university as an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative …

Marcella Birtele

Marcella Birtele named Choi Family Postdoctoral Fellow at USC Stem Cell

In one sense, Marcella Birtele is following in her father’s footsteps: he works as an electrician in Italy, and she studies the electrophysiology of the brain as a postdoctoral fellow in Giorgia …

Giorgia Quadrato (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC Stem Cell scientist Giorgia Quadrato receives a 2020 Mallinckrodt Grant

Giorgia Quadrato, an assistant professor in USC’s Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, was recently awarded an Edward Mallinckrodt Foundation (EMF) grant to further her research about modeling human brain …

Brain organoid

Brain development and disorder research receives $1.5 million NSF boost

The human brain is an incredibly complex organ to study in its living tissue form. Researchers cannot experiment on human tissue directly, and animal models are often too different to human physiology …

20 day old cortical organoid courtesy of Tuan Nguyen Quadrato lab

USC scientists use brain organoids to study intellectual disability, with support from the SynGAP Research Fund

Maybe a child misses a developmental milestone, such as rolling over, or saying that first word. Perhaps the child also falls down due to seizures, or develops symptoms of an autism spectrum …

Giorgia Quadrato

Baxter Foundation supports research in pediatric blindness, human brain development

The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation is supporting researchers exploring the causes of pediatric blindness and intellectual disability research by granting $100,000 awards to two assistant professors at the Keck …

Junior faculty (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC Stem Cell junior faculty balance babies with biomedical research

Growing stem cells isn’t just something junior faculty do in the lab. Eight of the junior faculty in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine recently welcomed new babies into …

Embryonic stem cells that have differentiated into neurons (Image by In Kyoung Mah/Mariani Lab)

From restoring sight to reversing brain damage, USC stem cell researchers are making life-changing discoveries

If anyone has a clear vision of the power of stem cell cures, it’s Anna Kuehl. She suffered a retina-wrecking disease that cost her much of her sight before USC physicians surgically …

Giorgia Quadrato (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

Stem cell scientist Giorgia Quadrato joins USC’s brain trust

Giorgia Quadrato loves a good challenge. That’s why USC’s newest assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine currently spends her time growing 3D networks of human nerve cells, called brain …

The Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium sparked collaborations. (Photo by Sergio Bianco)

USC researchers converge at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Symposium

“The field of stem cell biology is one of our great convergence opportunities,” said USC Provost Michael Quick, addressing an audience of biologists, chemists, physicists, engineers, clinicians and many others. This diverse …

Giorgia Quadrato, PhD