Metzger Lab

Quantitative Stem Cell Biology


We focus on a quantitative understanding of human neurodevelopment using stem-cell derived organoids. Using machine learning to analyze the difference between normal and pathological processes, we aim to dissect the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

We model human neurodevelopment in vitro, with the aim of understanding how signaling and morphogenesis lead to the reproducible patterning of the brain. Organoids can reproduce important functional and architectural aspects of developing tissues and are an ideal tool to unravel the molecular logic of developmental processes. In order to identify and understand subtle phenotypes of diseases – such as the early onset of a degenerative disease – a quantitative approach that analyzes the high-dimensional data obtained from whole-tissue and single-cell experiments is essential. We therefore develop analysis methods based on deep learning and other machine learning techniques that are tailored to our experimental pipelines and can take into account the natural variability of biological processes while simultaneously extracting crucial information.