Jürgen Knoblich

Professor Jürgen Knoblich

Using cerebral organoids to discover human-specific mechanisms of brain development

The Wolstencroft Lecture

11:20 - 12:20, Tuesday 13th April


Jurgen Knoblich

IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Science. Vienna 1030, Austria

Jürgen Knoblich is a German molecular biologist. Since 2018, he is Scientific Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.





The human brain is unique in size and complexity, but also the source of some of the most devastating human diseases. While many of these disorders have been successfully studied in model organisms, recent experiments have emphasized unique features that can not easily be modeled in animals. We use cerebral organoids to recapitulate those features in vitro and to test their role in human disease. Cerebral organoids derived from patients suffering from neuro-developmental disease can recapitulate the developmental defects leading to those diseases and allow us to disentangle the mechanistic complexity of disorders like Epilepsy and Autism. Our new data demonstrate that by studying those defects, we can gain unique insights into the development of the human cortex that cannot be made in rodent model organisms.

The Wolstencroft Lecture

The Wolstencroft Lecture is held in memory of John Wolstencroft, President of the BNA from 1978 to 1981, following his untimely death in 1983. This biennial lecture was set up to share the most exciting advances in neuroscience with a wide community of brain scientists and others in related disciplines. Previous lectures have been given by Allan Basbaum, Pierre Magistretti, Nancy Rothwell and May-Britt Moser.

Additional websites

See Jürgen Knoblich's lab website here