Anita Bhattacharyya

Position title: Assistant 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

  • 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.