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Maria Carolina (Carol) Marchetto

Dr. Marchetto received her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 2005, followed by a 5-year postdoctoral fellowship in neurobiology and neuroscience at The Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA. Prior to her appointment at UC San Diego, Dr. Marchetto was a Staff Scientist at the laboratory of Genetics at The Salk Institute where she led projects that studied neuronal development using human and nonhuman primate stem cells. Her work focuses on using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to study the cellular behavior of human neurons in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Marchetto’s work is also focused on human evolution in the context of human brain expansion and neuronal development. Her innovative approach uses stem cell models from human and nonhuman primate species to test hypotheses about the role of disruptions to human-specific cellular and molecular signatures in development and their potential impact on mental health, as framed within our close evolutionary milieu. Her work is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Mental Health and Private Foundations. Dr. Marchetto will offer undergraduate and graduate courses on using stem cell models to study evolution and neuropsychiatric conditions, the neuroscience of meditation, ethical dilemmas in stem cell research and will develop a graduate seminar on the latest topics in stem cell research, evolution and neuroscience.