Hynek  Wichterle
Hynek Wichterle, MS, Ph.D.

Address: 630 West 168th Street P&S 14-401G New York NY 10032
Phone: 212-342-3929


Education and Training:
MS 1993, Charles University
Ph.D. 2000, Rockefeller University
bullet  Pathology and Cell Biology; Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies; Neurobiology
Training Activities:
bullet  Department of Genetics and Development
Research Summary:
(800 words, max)
Cell Specification & Differentiation; Neural Degeneration & Repair; Stem Cell Biology
Current Research:
My lab developed efficient methods for differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into spinal motor neurons and interneurons in a process that closely recapitulates normal embryonic development. This provides a unique opportunity to analyze cell differentiation (conversion of a pluripotent cell to defined postmitotic neurons) at a molecular level and to probe formation of spinal microcircuits in co-cultures of motor neurons and interneurons in vitro. We actively map transcriptional programs that control cell fate specification by analyzing transcription factor binding sites, chromatin modifications and structure using genome-wide approaches (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq, chromatin conformation analysis). Unlimited access to spinal cord cell types also provides a platform for modeling motor neuron degenerative disease such as ALS and for the development of cell based drug screens in search of new treatments that promote motor neuron survival.

(6 max)
1. Wichterle, H., Lieberam, I., Porter, J., and Jessell, T. : (2002) Directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells into motor neurons.  Cell  110: 385-397

2. Novitch*, B. G., Wichterle*, H., Jessell, T. M., and Sockanathan, S: (2003) A requirement for retinoic acid-mediated transcriptional activation in ventral neural patterning and motor neuron specification.  Neuron   40: 81-95

3. Dimos, J.T., Rodolfa, K.T., Niakan, K.K., Weisenthal, L.M., Mitsumoto, H., Chung, W., Croft, G.F., Saphier, G., Leibel, R., Goland, R., Wichterle, H., Henderson, C.E., and Eggan, K., : (2008) Induced pluripotent stem cells generated from patients with ALS can be differentiated into motor neurons..  Science  321(5893): 1218-21

4. Peljto, M., Dasen, J.S., Mazzoni, E.O., Jessell, T.M., and Wichterle, H: (2010) Functional diversity of ESC-derived motor neuron subtypes revealed through intraspinal transplantation.  Cell Stem Cell   7: 355-366

5. Mazzoni, E.O., Mahony, S., Closser, M., Morrison, C.A., Nedelec, S., Williams, D.J., An, D., Gifford, D.K., and Wichterle, H.: (2013) Synergistic binding of transcription factors to cell-specific enhancers programs motor neuron identity.  Nature neuroscience   16: 1219-1227

6. 13. Mazzoni, E.O., Mahony, S., Peljto, M., Patel, T., Thornton, S.R., McCuine, S., Reeder, C., Boyer, L.A., Young, R.A., Gifford, D.K., and Wichterle, H. : (2013) Saltatory remodeling of Hox chromatin in response to rostrocaudal patterning signals.  Nature neuroscience   16: 1191-1198

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