Fikri Birey, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Emory University

SFARI Investigator Website

Fikri Birey is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University. As a Fulbright Scholar, he received his B.S. in biology with honors from the University of Kansas in 2008 and his Ph.D. in Genetics from Stony Brook University in 2014, where he specialized in neuroglial interactions in stress-related disorders. He completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University in 2021 in the laboratory of Sergiu Pasca, where he developed the forebrain assembloid platform and applied it to understand how neurodevelopmental disorders emerge during human cortical development.

Birey’s research focuses on investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the developmental emergence of organization, maturation and connectivity in the human brain in health and disease. His long-term goal is to illuminate novel working principles that guide human brain assembly across scales in health and disease. Towards realizing this goal, the Birey lab adopts a highly interdisciplinary toolkit that combines stem cell-based models of the developing human brain, such as brain organoids or assembloids, functional live cell imaging, optogenetics, multi-omics and various molecular tools.

Birey is a co-founder of the Brain Organoid Hub at Emory University, an initiative which aims to standardize, optimize and innovate on the maintenance, differentiation and use of human iPSC-derived brain organoids and assembloid models at scale.

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