Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Thomas Vierbuchen

Assistant Professor
Dr. Vierbuchen Headshot
The Vierbuchen Lab uses directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells combined with genetics and genomics to unravel fundamental mechanisms of cell fate specification and gene regulation in the developing brain.


The Vierbuchen laboratory seeks to elucidate fundamental mechanisms governing the production of the myriad neuronal cell types required to build functioning neural circuits. To model these dynamic developmental processes, we direct the differentiation of mouse and human pluripotent stem cells into specific neuronal cell types in a dish. This reductionist system allows us to recapitulate neural tube patterning and neuronal differentiation under controlled conditions and at a scale that makes it possible to use genetic screens, genomics, and systems genetics to characterize the underlying cell signaling and gene regulatory processes with unprecedented resolution. In the long term, we will apply these insights to better understand the complex genetic underpinnings of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. 

Current Projects:

  • Developing new organoid models to study brain development  
  • Mapping differences in brain development across different sub-species of mice 
  • Modeling neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease in mouse organoids 
  • Developing pluripotent stem cell resources from Diversity Outbred Mice 


Dr. Vierbuchen attended the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Biology and Anthropology. He pursued his PhD in the Cancer Biology Program at Stanford University School of Medicine, receiving training in stem cell biology and neural development in the lab of Dr. Marius Wernig. He then moved to the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School for his postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Michael Greenberg. He started his lab in the Developmental Biology Program and Center for Stem Cell Biology at the Sloan Kettering Institute in late 2018.  


  • Josie Robertson Investigator Award, Sloan Kettering Institute (2018-2023) 
  • HHMI Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2014-2018) 
  • David Hubel Award, Neurobiology Department, Harvard Medical School (2017) 
  • Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award (2013) 


Current Areas of Focus

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Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-8906