Current Recipients



Ishita Virmani
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Sponsor: Dr. Helena Hogberg and Dr. Thomas Hartung


"3D Human iPSC-derived Brain Organoids as a Model for Developmental Neurotoxicity Assessment of Man-Made Chemicals"

Ishita Virmani, a visiting graduate student researcher at Johns Hopkins University, has received IFER funding from 2021-2022 for her project, “3D Human iPSC-derived Brain Organoids as a Model for Developmental Neurotoxicity Assessment of Man-Made Chemicals.” The goal of Ishita’s project is to use a brain organoid model derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, rather than commonly used animal models, to evaluate the developmental neurotoxicity potential of flame retardant chemicals. Ishita will expose the brain organoids, during the early stages of their development, to different flame retardants and will analyze the effect of those treatments using a number of different tests. Included among those tests will be assays regarding cell death, neurite outgrowth (a process in which developing neurons generate new projections as they grow), cell migration, gliogenesis (the generation of glial cells—cells that provide supporting function to the nervous system) and synaptogenesis (the formation of synapses between neurons in the nervous system).

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