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Basson Lab

Basson Lab

Principal InvestigatorDr M Albert Basson


Chromatin remodelling mechanisms in neurodevelopmental disorders

Research in the Basson lab is primarily focused on chromatin remodelling factors implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. We create and use mouse models to identify the functions of these factors during brain development and tumourigenesis. Our research group is part of the new MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at King’s College London:

We are interested in CHD7, the factor mutated in CHARGE syndrome, where we have identified critical roles for CHD7 in development of the cerebellum. We are investigating the various roles of CHD8, a high confidence autism-associated factor, and chromatin remodelling factors directly regulated by, or otherwise functionally associated with CHD8, in brain development. Finally, we are interested in understanding how non-genetic, environmental factors may affect autism risk. These studies will provide fundamental insights into the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie ataxia, developmental delay, autism, intellectual disability and executive dysfunction.

Related to this core interest, we are taking novel unbiased approaches to identify cell type-specific distal regulatory elements that control and fine-tune the expression of key neurodevelopmental genes in the cerebellum, in order to identify non-coding substrates for neurodevelopmental disorders. Finally, we are studying the roles of these chromatin remodelling factors in paediatric brain tumours.


Currently there are five main research areas in the laboratory:

1)      Functions and mechanisms of CHD7 in cerebellar and frontal cortex development

2)      Neurodevelopmental roles of CHD8 and associated chromatin remodelling factors

3)      Investigating how microglia respond to environmental factors during brain development

4)      Unbiased approaches to identify distal regulatory elements in primary cerebellar granule neuron progenitors

5)      Creating new mouse models for aggressive medulloblastoma subtypes.


 Key collaborators:

  • Pete Scambler (Institute of Child Health, UCL)
  • Cathy Fernandes (MRC Centre for Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry, IoPPN, King's College London)
  • Conny van Ravenswaaij-Arts (Groningen University, Netherlands)
  • Richard Wingate (MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology)
  • Maria Luisa Scattoni (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy)
  • Jason Lerch (University of Toronto)
  • Laura Andreae (Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London)
  • Silvia Marino (Barts and the London, QMUL)


Contact information :


Tel: +44 (0)20 7188 1804 


Read more about our research in International Innovation (2012).

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