Calendar of Events


Feb 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm

The Center for Ethics in Science & Technology, Presents: Alysson Muotri, Ph.D.



Alysson Muotri, Ph.D.

Professor, University of California San Diego, UC San Diego Stem Cell Program, School of Medicine, Dept. Pediatrics/Rady Children’s Hospital-Sanford Consortium

Dr. Muotri earned a BS in Biological Sciences from the State University of Campinas in 1995 and a PhD in Genetics in 2001 from University of São Paulo, in Brazil. He moved to the Salk Institute as Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for a postdoctoral training in the fields of neuroscience and stem cell biology. He has been a Professor at the School of Medicine, University of California in San Diego since 2008. His research focuses on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, using human induced pluripotent stem cells. His lab has developed several techniques to culture human neurons and glia for basic research and drug-screening platforms. He has received several awards, including the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NARSAD, Emerald Foundation Young Investigator Award, Surugadai Award from Tokyo University, Rock Star of Innovation from CONNECT, NIH EUREKA Award among others.

Cerebral organoids, also known as mini-brains, are tridimensional self-organized structures derived from stem cells that resemble the early stages of the human embryonic brain. This new tool allows researchers to explore fundamental neurodevelopmental steps otherwise inaccessible in utero experimentally. Dr. Muotri will explain how mini brains are generated in his lab and how this strategy can create novel therapeutical insights on neurogenetic disorders, such as autism. He will also describe the use of mini-brains to explore the uniqueness of the human brain compared to other extinct species, such as the Neanderthals. Limitations and ethical concerns surrounding this exciting technology will be discussed.

Parking instructions

There are free lots available behind the Fleet Science Center near the entrance to the Community Forum.

Date & Time

Wednesday, February 6, 2019, from 5:00–7:00 PM.

Join us from 5:00–5:30 PM for a half hour of refreshments and conversation. Our speaker will begin at 5:30 PM.

Event Website

Date and Time

Feb 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm


Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park

Event Registration

Registration for this event is required by Feb 6, 2019. Visit the registration page for details.

Event Fee

Please Note: This event is free to the public, but the cost for these programs is substantial.


Research Ethics Program, UC San Diego    858-822-2647


Faculty, Staff, Students, The General Public

Event Host

Center for Ethics in Science and Technology

Event Category

Talks and Lectures