Anita Bhattacharyya

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: Phone: (608) 265-6142

RESEARCH INTERESTS - Altered development of the cerebral cortex in neurodevelopmental disorders

Headshot of Anita Bhattacharyya


Address: 623 Waisman Center – 1500 Highland Ave. – Madison, WI 53705
Visit the Bhattacharyya Lab Website




B.S., 1986, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Zoology
Ph.D., 1993, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Anatomy and Cell Biology


My research examines how the development of the cerebral cortex is altered in developmental disorders characterized by intellectual impairment. The cerebral cortex is the most complex area of the brain and is responsible for functions unique to humans, such as language and abstract thought. Problems in any of the crucial steps in the formation of the cerebral cortex prenatally can lead to cognitive impairment at birth. Research in my lab is focused on two genetic developmental disorders, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome. Down syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome (Trisomy 21), while Fragile X syndrome is due to a single gene mutation (fmr1 gene). I am using human pluripotent stem cells that carry either trisomy 21 or the fmr1 mutation to study the development of the cerebral cortex in vitro. These stem cells have intrinsic characteristics that can be investigated in culture to further our understanding and treatment of developmental disorders. By defining the mistakes in neurodevelopment that lead to intellectual impairment, we may be able to target therapeutics for these developmental disorders.

Representative Publications

  • Shen M, Sirois CL, Guo Y, Li M, Dong Q, Méndez-Albelo NM, Gao Y, Khullar S, Kissel L, Sandoval SO, Wolkoff NE, Huang SX, Xu Z, Bryan JE, Contractor AM, Korabelnikov T, Glass IA, Doherty D; Birth Defects Research Laboratory; Levine JE, Sousa AMM, Chang Q, Bhattacharyya A, Wang D, Werling DM, Zhao X. Species-specific FMRP regulation of RACK1 is critical for prenatal cortical development. Neuron. 2023 Oct 10:S0896-6273(23)00702-X. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2023.09.014.
  • Ludwig TE, Andrews PW, Barbaric I, Benvenisty N, Bhattacharyya A, Crook JM, Daheron LM, Draper JS, Healy LE, Huch M, Inamdar MS, Jensen KB, Kurtz A, Lancaster MA, Liberali P, Lutolf MP, Mummery CL, Pera MF, Sato Y, Shimasaki N, Smith AG, Song J, Spits C, Stacey G, Wells CA, Zhao T, Mosher JT. ISSCR standards for the use of human stem cells in basic research. Stem Cell Reports. 2023 Sep 12;18(9):1744-1752. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2023.08.003.
  • Risgaard KA, Sorci IA, Mohan S, Bhattacharyya A. Meta-Analysis of Down Syndrome Cortical Development Reveals Underdeveloped State of the Science. Front Cell Neurosci. 2022 Jun 13;16:915272. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2022.915272.
  • Giffin-Rao Y, Sheng J, Strand B, Xu K, Huang L, Medo M, Risgaard KA, Dantinne S, Mohan S, Keshan A, Daley RA Jr, Levesque B, Amundson L, Reese R, Sousa AMM, Tao Y, Wang D, Zhang SC, Bhattacharyya A. Altered patterning of trisomy 21 interneuron progenitors. Stem Cell Reports. 2022 Jun 14;17(6):1366-1379. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.05.001. Epub 2022 May 26.
  • Wu Y, West NR, Bhattacharyya A, Wiseman FK. Cell models for Down syndrome-Alzheimer’s disease research. Neuronal Signal. 2022 Apr 8;6(1):NS20210054. doi: 10.1042/NS20210054.
  • Murie M, Peng Y, Rigby MJ, Dieterich IA, Farrugia MA, Endresen A, Bhattacharyya A, Puglielli L. ATase inhibition rescues age-associated proteotoxicity of the secretory pathway. Commun Biol. 2022 Feb 25;5(1):173. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03118-0.
  • Hunt JFV, Li M, Risgaard R, Ananiev GE, Wildman S, Zhang F, Bugni TS, Zhao X, Bhattacharyya A. High Throughput Small Molecule Screen for Reactivation of FMR1 in Fragile X Syndrome Human Neural Cells. Cells. 2021 Dec 27;11(1):69. doi: 10.3390/cells11010069.
  • Fathi A, Mathivanan S, Kong L, Petersen AJ, Harder CRK, Block J, Miller JM, Bhattacharyya A, Wang D, Zhang SC. Chemically induced senescence in human stem cell-derived neurons promotes phenotypic presentation of neurodegeneration. Aging Cell. 2022 Jan;21(1):e13541. doi: 10.1111/acel.13541. Epub 2021 Dec 24.
  • Dierssen M, Herault Y, Helguera P, Martínez de Lagran M, Vazquez A, Christian B, Carmona-Iragui M, Wiseman F, Mobley W, Fisher EMC, Brault V, Esbensen A, Jacola LM, Potier MC, Hamlett ED, Abbeduto L, Del Hoyo Soriano L, Busciglio J, Iulita MF, Crispino J, Malinge S, Barone E, Perluigi M, Costanzo F, Delabar JM, Bartesaghi R, Dekker AD, De Deyn P, Fortea Ormaechea J, Shaw PA, Haydar TF, Sherman SL, Strydom A, Bhattacharyya A. Building the Future Therapies for Down Syndrome: The Third International Conference of the T21 Research Society. Mol Syndromol. 2021 Jul;12(4):202-218. doi: 10.1159/000514437. Epub 2021 May 20. PMID: 34421499; PMCID: PMC8339505.
  • Martinez JL, Zammit MD, West NR, Christian BT, Bhattacharyya A. Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons: Linking Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease. Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 Jul 12;13:703876. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.703876. Erratum in: Front Aging Neurosci. 2021 Aug 05;13:742233.
  • Hendrix JA, Amon A, Abbeduto L, Agiovlasitis S, Alsaied T, Anderson HA, Bain LJ, Baumer N, Bhattacharyya A, Bogunovic D, Botteron KN, Capone G, Chandan P, Chase I, Chicoine B, Cieuta-Walti C, DeRuisseau LR, Durand S, Esbensen A, Fortea J, Giménez S, Granholm AC, Hahn LJ, Head E, Hillerstrom H, Jacola LM, Janicki MP, Jasien JM, Kamer AR, Kent RD, Khor B, Lawrence JB, Lemonnier C, Lewanda AF, Mobley W, Moore PE, Nelson LP, Oreskovic NM, Osorio RS, Patterson D, Rasmussen SA, Reeves RH, Roizen N, Santoro S, Sherman SL, Talib N, Tapia IE, Walsh KM, Warren SF, White AN, Wong GW, Yi JS. Opportunities, barriers, and recommendations in down syndrome research. Transl Sci Rare Dis. 2021;5(3-4):99-129. doi: 10.3233/trd-2000
  • Keen KL, Petersen AJ, Figueroa AG, Fordyce BI, Shin J, Yadav R, Erdin S, Pearce RA, Talkowski ME, Bhattacharyya A, Terasawa E. Physiological Characterization and Transcriptomic Properties of GnRH Neurons Derived From Human Stem Cells. Endocrinology. 2021 Sep 1;162(9):bqab120. doi: 10.1210/endocr/bqab120.
  • Tang XY, Xu L, Wang J, Hong Y, Wang Y, Zhu Q, Wang D, Zhang XY, Liu CY, Fang KH, Han X, Wang S, Wang X, Xu M, Bhattacharyya A, Guo X, Lin M, Liu Y. (2021) DSCAM/PAK1 pathway suppression reverses neurogenesis deficits in iPSC-derived cerebral organoids from patients with Down syndrome. J Clin Invest. 2021 Jun 15;131(12):e135763. doi: 10.1172/JCI135763.
  • Li M, Shin J, Risgaard R, Parries M, Wang J, Chasman D, Roy S*, Bhattacharyya A*, and Zhao X* (2020) Identification of FMR1 regulated molecular networks in human neurodevelopment, Genome Research 2020 Mar 16 (Online ahead of print). PubMed PMID: 32179589 DOI: 10.1101/gr.251405.119
  • Dong Y, Xiong M, Chen Y, Tao Y, Li X, Bhattacharyya A, Zhang SC. Plasticity of Synaptic Transmission in Human Stem Cell-Derived Neural Networks. (2020) iScience. 2020 Jan 9;23(2):100829. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.100829. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:31981924
  • Yin Y, Petersen AJ, Soref C, Richards WD, Ludwig T, Taapken S, Berndt E, Zhang SC, Bhattacharyya A.*(2019) Generation of seven induced pluripotent stem cell lines from neonates of different ethnic backgrounds. Stem Cell Res. 2019 Jan;34:101365. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2018.101365. Epub 2018 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 30605841.
  • Zhao X* and Bhattacharyya A* (2018). The need for human models to study human neurodevelopmental disorders. AJHG 103(6): 829-857. PMCID:PMC6288051
  • Ludwig TE, Kuja, A, Rauti A, Andrzejewski S, Langbehn, S, Mayfiel, J, Fulle, J, Yashiro Y, Hara Y, Bhattacharyya, A. (2018) 20 years of human pluripotent stem cell research: It all started with 5 lines. Cell Stem Cell. 2018; 23(5):644-648. PMID:30388422
  • Huo HQ, Qu ZY, Yuan F, Ma L, Yao L, Xu M, Hu Y, Ji J, Bhattacharyya A, Zhang SC, Liu Y. Modeling Down Syndrome with Patient iPSCs Reveals Cellular and Migration Deficits of GABAergic Neurons. Stem Cell Reports. 2018 Apr 10;10(4):1251-1266. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.02.001. Epub 2018 Mar 8. PMID:29526735.
  • Li M, Zhao H, Ananiev GE, Musser MT, Ness KH, Maglaque DL, Saha K, Bhattacharyya A, Zhao X.  Establishment of Reporter Lines for Detecting Fragile X Mental Retardation (FMR1) Gene Reactivation in Human Neural Cells. Stem Cells. 2017 Jan;35(1):158-169. doi: 10.1002/stem.2463. Epub 2016 Jul 27. PMID:27422057.
  • Weick JP, Held DL, Bonadurer GF 3rd, Doers ME, Liu Y, Maguire C, Clark A, Knackert JA, Molinarolo K, Musser M, Yao L, Yin Y, Lu J, Zhang X, Zhang SC, Bhattacharyya A. (2013) Deficits in human trisomy 21 iPSCs and neuronsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. 110(24):9962-7.