Dr. Christopher Patzke joins CRND as John M. and Mary Jo Boler Assistant Professor.
Christopher Patzke studied Biology at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He received his PhD training in the laboratory of Dr. Fritz Rathjen at the Max-Delbrück-Center in Berlin and his postdoctoral training at the Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Südhof.
He is particularly interested in the role of cell adhesion and synaptic signaling in neuronal cells, which are crucial elements in the processes of wiring and signal transmission in the nervous system during ontogenesis. Human perception, feelings, and actions depend on the proper development and functioning of synapses that are disrupted in many neurological and psychiatric diseases. A systematic understanding of the function and structure of the human synapse is essential for the quest of therapies.
Dr. Patzke’s research approach utilizes human pluripotent stem-cell-derived neurons as a tool to model human genetic neuropathological conditions but also as means to understand the molecular basis of human cellular neurobiology. By combining technologies, such as genetic engineering, cell imaging, biochemistry, brain organoid cultures and physiology, he generates and studies conditionally mutated human neurons, allowing in vitro analyses of cellular processes independent of the genetic background or genetic alterations induced by clonal selection. His main goal is to answer questions about the molecular underpinnings of human biology and pathology mechanisms in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders (such as autism, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases).