Romanian scientist recognized for contribution to schizophrenia research
The Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) has named Romanian-born Sergiu Pașca its 2021 Basic Research Awardee.
The award, established in 2012, recognizes a SIRS member for an outstanding basic research contribution to schizophrenia research. The selection of the award recipient is based on the quality of the contribution(s) and its impact in advancing schizophrenia research.
Dr. Sergiu Pasca is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Director of Stanford Brain Organogenesis. He is also a CZI Ben Barres Investigator and an NYSCF Robertson Investigator.
A physician by training, Pasca is interested in understanding the rules governing brain assembly and the mechanisms of disease. He developed some of the initial in-a-dish models of disease by deriving neurons from skin cells taken from patients with genetic neurodevelopmental disorders, SIRS explained. “His laboratory at Stanford introduced the use of instructive signals for reproducibly deriving from stem cells self-organizing 3D cellular structures named brain region-specific spheroids or organoids. Dr. Pasca also pioneered a modular system to integrate 3D brain region-specific organoids and study migration and neural circuit formation in functional preparations known as assembloids. His laboratory has applied these models to gain novel insights into human physiology, evolution and disease mechanisms, and supported researchers around the world in learning and implementing these techniques.”
Pasca was named a Visionary in Medicine and Science by the New York Times. He is the recipient of the 2018 Vilcek Award for Creative Biomedical Promise, shared with Feng Zhang and Polina Anikeva, the NIMH’s BRAINS Award (2015), the A.E. Bennett Award in Biological Psychiatry (2018), the Folch-Pi Neurochemistry Award (2017), the Günter Blobel Early Career Award for Cell Biology (2018), the Daniel E. Efron Award from ACNP (2018) and was a winner of the 2020 Falling Walls Breakthrough in Life Sciences Award.
Sergiu Pasca (@PascaStanford) named the @SIRSGlobal 2021 Basic Research Awardee. See the full announcement on our website at https://t.co/4XfdIXe8w8. Congratulations Dr. Pasca! #schizophrenia #schizophreniaresearch pic.twitter.com/i48PIPSAje— Schizophrenia International Research Society (@SIRSGlobal) March 11, 2021