The Thomas Vierbuchen Lab

The Thomas Vierbuchen Lab

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.

Thomas Vierbuchen

Thomas S. Vierbuchen, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Focus

The Vierbuchen laboratory directs the differentiation of mouse and human pluripotent stem cells to characterize fundamental mechanisms of neuronal cell fate specification and function.


PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Vierbuchen T*, Ling E*, Cowley C, Couch C, Harmin DA, Wang X, Roberts CW, Greenberg ME.  AP-1 transcription factors and the BAF complex mediate signal-dependent enhancer selection. Molecular Cell 68, 1067-1082 (2017)
  • Vierbuchen T, Ostermeier A, Pang ZP, Kokubu Y, Sudhof T, Wernig M.  Direct conversion of fibroblasts to functional neurons by defined factors. Nature 463, 1035–1041 (2010)
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Selected Achievements
  • Josie Robertson Investigator (2018-2023)
  • David Hubel Award, Neurobiology Department, Harvard Medical School (2017)
  • HHMI Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2014-2018)
  • Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award (2013)
  • Collegiate Inventors Competition (Finalist, 2010)