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Silvia Velasco


Velasco S, Kedaigle AJ, Simmons SK, Nash A, Rocha M, Quadrato G, Paulsen B, Nguyen L, Adiconis X, Regev A, Levin JZ, Arlotta P. Individual brain organoids reproducibly form cell diversity of the human cerebral cortex. Nature. 2019;570(7762), 523-5257.

Velasco S, Ibrahim MM, Kakumanu A, et al. A multi-step transcriptional and chromatin state cascade underlies motor neuron programming from embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2017;20(2):205-217.e8.

Kakumanu A, Velasco S, Mazzoni E, Mahony S. Deconvolving sequence features that discriminate between overlapping regulatory annotations. PLoS Comput Biol. 2017;13(10): e1005795.

Díez-Revuelta N, Higuero AM, Velasco S, et al. Neurons define non-myelinated axon segments by the regulation of Galectin-4-containing axon membrane domains. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):12246.

Velasco S, Díez-Revuelta N, Hernández-Iglesias T, et al. Neuronal Galectin-4 is required for axon growth and for the organization of axonal membrane L1 delivery and clustering. J Neurochem. 2013;125(1):49-62.

Silvia Velasco, Ph.D.

Silvia Velasco is a research scientist II in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The main goal of her research is to develop in vitro models using human pluripotent stem cells, to study the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases. To this end, she is generating next-generation long-term cultures of 3D cerebral organoids that resemble the cellular complexity, tissue architecture, and local connectivity of the developing human cerebral cortex.

Velasco is also an affiliate in Harvard University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, where, with the team led by Paola Arlotta, she seeks to understand the mechanistic principles that govern cortical development and function.

Prior to joining the Broad Institute in 2017, Velasco completed her postdoctoral training in the lab of Esteban Mazzoni at New York University, working on a project aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms behind direct programming of pluripotent stem cells to motor neurons. She has additional experience in neurobiology, acquired by working as a Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the National Hospital for Paraplegics in Toledo, Spain. 

Velasco holds a Ph.D. in human biology and a M.Sc. in medical biotechnology, both from the University of Turin, Italy.

Contact Silvia Velasco via email at

Credit: Rose Lincoln/Harvard University.

February 2020