Lehtinen Laboratory | News

2019

May

Check out our single cell atlas of the choroid plexus across brain ventricles and ages! Congrats to Neil, Rebecca, Naomi, and our fantastic collaborators in the Regev lab at the Broad Institute. Our preprint is available on BioRxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/627539v1
 
We are delighted to welcome Sayo Falayi from Emmanuel College to carry out her thesis research in the lab. We congratulate Kolby Shaw from Simmons College on a productive senior thesis project and wish her best of luck on all new adventures after graduation!

 

April

Check out Ryann’s Spotlight article in this issue of Neuron highlighting work from the labs of Nathalie Spassky and Arturo Alvarez-Buylla on the development of ependymal cells and adult neural stem cells in the SVZ. 

March

Congratulations to Jin for receiving the William Randolph Hearst Fellowship to support her project on the choroid plexus brain barrier during prenatal development. The lab was also awarded a Pilot Grant from the Simons Foundation to advance studies on choroid plexus-CSF contributions to autism spectrum disorder.

The lab is honored to also receive a Harvard Brain Initiative Seed Great to investigate mechanisms of Bipolar Disorder. This grant is made possible by a generous gift from the Dauten Family Foundation. We are grateful for this support and look forward to a productive year!

January

We kick off the New Year congratulating Neil on the Reagan Sloane Shanley Scholarship! The lab was selected to receive continued support from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation.

2018

December

We wrap up the year by thanking our energetic rotation students Genevieve, Jessica, and Valentina, for a fantastic Fall semester! Maria was also honored by a 2018 Mentoring Award from the Boston Children’s Hospital Postdoc Association.

September

Congratulations to Ryann for “taking a bite out of hydrocephalus,“ with her mile-long swim across the Boston Harbor, an annual tradition for raising awareness and resources for hydrocephalus research! We also welcome Kolby Shaw from Simmons College to carry out her Senior Thesis Research.

August

Check out our new publication, available online in Neuron (Smith et al., 2018), where we found that the gene SCN3A, which encodes the sodium channel Nav1.3, regulates folding of the human brain and oral motor development. Patients with mutations in SCN3A develop a neurodevelopmental channelopathy that includes a highly regionalized brain malformation/polymicrogyria in the Perisylvian region of the brain. This part of the brain is home to our speech and language areas, and patients with SCN3A mutations present with developmental language delay and oral motor difficulties. To date, genetic evidence connecting cortical malformations with oral motor and developmental language disorders is limited, and we anticipate this work should open doors to better understanding these complex developmental processes and associated conditions. Add link to paper: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1XgfA3BtfGpRR4.

Read more at:

Preview in Neuron. https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/neuron/vol/99/issue/5

Vector blog: https://vector.childrenshospital.org/2018/08/scn3a-brain-folding-speech-motor-development/

New York Stem Cell Foundation: https://nyscf.org/resources/dr-maria-lehtinen-elucidates-the-genetics-behind-brain-and-speech-development/

The lab was selected to receive the Hydrocephalus Association’s 2018 Science Discovery Grant to investigate mechanisms of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus. We are eager to get started - congratulations to the entire team!

We’ve also enjoyed a productive summer with our SHURP summer interns Joel and Della, and also bid farewell to Bella from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, who conducted an internship in the lab.

July

We welcome Cameron Sadegh from MGH for his neurosurgery fellowship training in the lab for the next 2 years!

Check out our recent collaborative publication (Coulter et al., Cell Reports 2018) describing a new mechanism regulating Shh secretion in distinctive extracellular vesicles by the choroid plexus.

June

Congratulations to Melody on graduating from the MD/PhD program and matching at UCSF for residency training in Pediatrics/Neonatal medicine beginning in June! We also bid farewell to Kevin, who is headed to the opposite edge of the Pacific rim for postdoctoral training with Ayumu Toshiro (NTU, Singapore). Best of luck Melody and Kevin!

We are joined by two SHURP students for the summer, Della Syau (UCSD) and Joel Reyes (Univ. Texas at El Paso) – welcome to the lab!

Morgan attended the American Association of Neuropathology Meeting and received an Honorable Mention for the best project in experimental neuropathology – congratulations!

May

Take a look at our newest article published online in eLife (Chau et al.,) where we discovered that neural progenitor cells dynamically regulate protein biosynthetic machinery during early forebrain development. This fundamental process matches concurrent changes in the adjacent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteome, and is regulated in part by the transcription factor c-MYC. We previously showed that the CSF delivers important health- and growth-promoting factors for the developing brain. Our new work expands on this role to demonstrate that the CSF provides a biomarker signature of healthy mammalian forebrain development, analogous to its common role as a source of biomarkers for neurologic disease throughout life.

Congrats to Morgan for being selected for a Trainee Travel Award for the upcoming American Association of Neuropathology Meeting in June!

April

We are celebrating Maria’s promotion to Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School!

March

We have many achievements to celebrate this spring! Check out our article published in The American Journal of Pathology (Shannon et al.,) where we generated a new mouse model for two rare pediatric cancers: choroid plexus carcinoma and ciliary body medulloepithelioma (eye tumor). We are also celebrating the fantastic news of our newly funded research grant from the Human Frontier Science Program. This exciting multi-lab collaborative project with Claire Wyart (INSERM, Paris) and François Gallaire (EPFL, Lausanne) investigates CSF production and flow.

January

This New Year, we are delighted to welcome Huixin Xu as a postdoctoral fellow, and Hannah Zucker, a rotation student from the Program in Neuroscience. We congratulate Neil on a Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship, and are grateful for continued funding from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation. 

2017

October

We welcome Yidi Wang from the BBS and MD/PhD Programs to rotate in the lab. 

August

Maria joined the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation on Capitol Hill for a fruitful day of meetings with Senate and House of Representatives staff. The event followed a productive internship week with Bella. 

Capitol Hill

We mixed science and nature on our lab retreat north of the border and celebrated our newly funded grant from the Tommy Fuss Center for Neuropsychiatric Disease Research. 

June

We welcome our summer undergraduate interns: Alexandria Velasquez (Harvard SHURP program), and Tyler LeComer (Harvard’s PRISE program), and summer rotation students: Christina Tringides (Biophysics program) and Jenny Lai (MD/PhD program). We bid farewell to Dr. Kevin Chau, who is embarking on his new scientific path at Biogen. We also enjoyed hosting Jackson Broderdorp for an internship from the Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. Best of luck Kevin and Jackson!

April

Kevin successfully defended his PhD - congratulations Dr. Chau!

Kevin Graduation 

April

Congratulations Fred for being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! This award will support Fred’s dissertation research in the lab during the next three years. We are also thrilled that Tyler LeComer received a PRISE fellowship from Harvard University to carry out summer research in the lab. Finally, check out our recent collaboration with the Lehesjoki Lab (Anttonen et al., Brain 2017), where we characterized the genetic and molecular mechanisms contributing to PEHO syndrome, a severe pediatric encephalopathy. 

January

We are celebrating the news that Maria has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama! Check out the White House press release:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/09/president-obama-honors-federally-funded-early-career-scientists

We are ringing in the New Year by welcoming Jin Cui as a new postdoctoral fellow to the lab! We are also grateful for continued research support from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, and are looking forward to a productive 2017!

2016

November

We welcome Ryann Fame as a postdoctoral fellow to the lab! Also check out Neil’s Preview published in Cell Stem Cell (Dani & Lehtinen), “CSF makes waves in the neural stem cell niche.” 

October

Maria is selected as Robertson Neuroscience Investigator of the New York Stem Cell Foundation for innovative research in neuroscience. This grant supports the next five-year phase of the lab’s research program investigating the mechanisms regulating the choroid plexus-CSF stem cell niche. http://nyscf.org/programs/nyscf-investigator-program

September

Fred Shipley joins the lab for his PhD from the Biophysics program, and Alec Walker from the Immunology program starts a fall rotation in the lab. Welcome Fred and Alec! It is also time to bid farewell to our summer student Zeynep – good luck with your studies in the coming year! We also had a wonderful time participating in the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation walk in western Massachusetts.

August

Check out our recent publication in Science (Mathew et al.) where we discovered that foot shock, which is commonly used for contextual fear conditioning in learning and memory studies, suppresses gene expression in the choroid plexus. Given its proximity to the hippocampus, the lateral ventricle choroid plexus can be accidentally included in hippocampal dissections. We propose a metric for verifying the purity of hippocampal samples before performing extensive analyses. We are grateful for funding from the Simons Foundation, which supports our research relating to autism spectrum disorder. We are grateful for funding from the Simons Foundation, which supports our research relating to autism spectrum disorder.

April

Congratulations to Dr. Melody Lun for successfully defending her Ph.D.! Melody will now return to medical school to finish her MD.

Melody-PhD

April

Today we enjoyed a lab lunch to welcome Ahram Jang as a new postdoctoral fellow to the lab – welcome Ahram! We also celebrated Emily Messelaar’s rotation in the lab, and Hillary’s acceptances to medical school. Congrats also to Melody and our collaborators in Haotian Zhao’s lab at Sanford Research for our recent publication (Li et al.) describing a new connection between cilia and choroid plexus tumors published in Nature Cell Biology. The lab also received a grant from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Congratulations to all! 

Jan. 30, 2016 - We are celebrating an exciting start to the new year! We welcome Fred Shipley from the Biophysics Program to rotate in the lab. Neil was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the William Randolph Hearst Fund, and Kevin received an SFN travel award to the Japan Neuroscience Society meeting in 2016. The lab also received recent grants from the Broad Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and continued research support from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation. Congratulations to all!

2015

Dec. 21, 2015 - Check out our new paper, published today in Developmental Cell (Chau et al.). In this collaborative effort with Hanno Steen and Anthony LaMantia’s labs, we developed new techniques to collect and analyze the function and composition of early amniotic fluid and CSF as they diverge in the developing nervous system. Congratulations to Kevin and everyone who contributed to this study. Read more at:

Vector Blog:

How amniotic and cerebrospinal fluids talk to the developing brain: proteomics

HMS Prenatal Proteomics:

How amniotic and cerebrospinal fluids talk to the developing brain: proteomics

Dec. 12, 2015 - 4th Annual Lehtinen/Andermann Labs Holiday Party, ping pong tournament, and Yankee Swap. Who went home with the brain cookie jar?

October 17-21 - Kevin and Melody presented posters at the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, and we celebrated Melody’s SFN Trainee Professional Developmental Award. The lab’s research was also recognized and honored by a Cajal Club Cortical Explorer Award to Maria. 

 

July 15, 2015 – Check out our review describing the development and functions of the choroid plexus-CSF system (Lun et al.), published today in Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

May 15, 2015 – Congratulations to collaborators Jessica Chang and Hazel Sive from the Whitehead Institute and MIT for their paper demonstrating zebrafish CSF promotes survival of the developing nervous system in a retinoid-dependent manner, published online today in Developmental Neurobiology. In this paper, we also compare the proteomes of rodent and zebrafish CSF and show that mouse CSF can substitute for zebrafish CSF to promote survival.

May 11, 2015 – Erin Fonseca, Northeastern co-op student joins the lab – Welcome Erin!

March 25, 2015 – Check out our paper published today in The Journal of Neuroscience (Lun et al., 2015) where we show regionalization of the choroid plexus tissues in the brain and ventricle-specific CSF production. This has been a collaborative effort with many labs, including our neighbors and friends in the department Hanno Steen and Hart Lidov, Nenad Sestan at Yale, Michael Holtzman at Washington Univ., and Ed Monuki at UC-Irvine. Congratulations Melody and everyone involved!

Feb. 27, 2015 – Good-bye lunch for Tais, sampling some of her favorite Brazilian specialties at Muqueca in Cambridge. We will miss you!

2014

Dec. 7, 2014 – 3rd annual Andermann/Lehtinen holiday party and yankee swap – Happy Holidays!

Dec. 5, 2014 – Neil Dani joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Neil recently completed his PhD at Vanderbilt University working on Drosophila synapses and extracellular matrix proteins in the Broadie lab – Welcome Neil!

Aug. 16, 2014 – Lab retreat north of the border to Quebec, Canada. What a view from the Owl’s head summit!

June 20, 2014 – Lab hiking trip to the Blue Hills and farewell party for Hye-yeon and Mark. Hye-yeon is moving to Novartis and Mark is starting his PhD at Harvard in the BBS program.

June 9, 2014 – Hillary Mullan joins the lab as our new research assistant. Hillary just graduated from the Oberlin College Neuroscience program – Welcome Hillary!

May 15, 2014 – The lab is awarded an R01 grant from the NIH – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This 5 year grant will support the lab’s efforts to investigate how the CSF system first forms in the developing brain, and how protein signals in the early CSF influence neural stem cells and the earliest stages of brain development. The lab has also been supported by a K99/R00 from the NINDS over the past several years. We are grateful for this support.

April 1, 2014 – Mark receives an NSF graduate research fellowship – Congratulations Mark!

Feb. 25, 2014 – Tais Adelita joins the lab from Sao Paulo, Brazil, for her 1-year research fellowship supported by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation – Welcome Tais!

2013

Dec. 7, 2013 – 2nd annual Andermann/Lehtinen holiday party – Happy Holidays!

Nov. 12, 2013 – Maria is honored at the Society for Neuroscience meeting with a Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award!

April 30, 2013 – Melody receives a Glenn/AFAR Scholarship for her project on the adult choroid plexus – Congratulations Melody!

April 12, 2013 – Welcome Hye-yeon Park from the Program in Neuroscience at Harvard, and good-bye Alex and Vivian! Vivian is graduating from Northeastern, and Alex will pursue an MA at Boston University. We will miss you - good luck!

March 29, 2013 - Kevin receives an NSF graduate research fellowship, which will support the next 3 years of his dissertation research – Congratulations Kevin!

March 11, 2013 – Check out our JoVE protocol (Zappaterra et al.) published today on culturing cortical explants with CSF.

2012

Dec. 14, 2012 – Great news - the lab is awarded a Research Grant from the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation! This grant will support our research to investigate mechanisms leading to hydrocephalus and the consequences of hydrocephalus on brain development.

Dec. 2, 2012 – 1st annual Andermann/Lehtinen holiday party and yankee swap – Happy Holidays!

Sept. 4, 2012 – Kevin Chau joins the lab for his PhD from the BBS Program at Harvard – Welcome Kevin!

Aug. 29, 2012 – Salih Topal joins the lab for his MA from the Univ. of Strasbourg, France – Welcome Salih!

Aug. 23, 2012 – Melody Lun joins the lab for her PhD. Melody is in the MD/PhD program at Boston University – Welcome Melody!

July 10, 2012 – Mark Springel joins the lab as our new research assistant. Mark just graduated from Williams College – Welcome Mark!

June 4, 2012 – Alexandra Stough joins the lab for a summer internship from Bucknell University – Welcome Alexandra!

Feb. 15, 2012 – Maria is honored by an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship!

Jan. 5, 2012 – Vivian Ho joins the lab as an undergraduate co-op student from Northeastern University – Welcome Vivian!

Jan. 2, 2012 – Check out our lab space and views of Boston from the 11th floor of the Enders Research Building - Maria and Alex are hard at work setting up the new lab! Come get a tour – we are excited to show everyone around.

Lab Set Up

Lehtinen Lab

Lab Space

 
 

Lab View