Sergiu Pasca, MD is the Keneth T. Norris, Jr. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Bonnie Uytengsu and Family Founding Director of Stanford Brain Organogenesis.
He is a CZI Ben Barres Investigator and a Chan Zuckerberg BioHub Investigator.
Prof. Pasca is interested in understanding the rules governing human brain assembly and the mechanisms of disease.
During his clinical training in Romania, he used biochemistry and genetics to explore gene-environment interactions in autism and schizophrenia. He continued his neuroscience training at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt where he investigated the role of gamma oscillations in visual processing. During his postdoctoral studies in Ricardo Dolmetsch’s laboratory at Stanford University, he developed some of the first cellular models with induced pluripotent stem cells to study neuropsychiatric disorders.
His independent laboratory at Stanford introduced instructive signals for reproducibly deriving self-organizing neural region-specific organoids and pioneered a modular platform known as assembloids to study migration and neural circuit formation. Prof. Pasca systematically applied these cellular models to gain insights into human physiology, evolution and disease, and extensively supported researchers around the world in implementing these techniques.
Prof. Pasca was named a Visionary in Medicine and Science by the New York Times, was featured as a physician-scientist by Nature Medicine, and he was a TED 2022 Speaker.
He is the recipient of the 2018 Vilcek Award for Creative Biomedical Promise, the National Institute of Mental Health BRAINS Award (2015), the MQ Award for Transforming Mental Health (2014), the A.E. Bennett Award in Biological Psychiatry (2018), the Folch-Pi Neurochemistry Award (2017), the Günter Blobel Award for Cell Biology (2018), the Daniel E. Efron Award in Neuropsychopharmacology (2018), a Breakthrough in Life Sciences Prize (2020) from Falling Walls, the International Basic Science Schizophrenia Prize (2021), the Joseph Altman Award in Developmental Neuroscience (2021), the Theodore Reich Award (2021), the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society (2021) and the 13th IBRO-Kemali Neuroscience Award (2022).