Michael Boland joined Columbia University Medical Center in 2015 as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and director of Cellular Models of Disease at the Institute for Genomic Medicine.
He is a developmental and molecular neurobiologist with expertise in mouse and human embryology and stem cells, molecular genetics, epigenetics and transcriptomics. His group takes an integrated developmental and functional approach to study genes associated with pediatric epileptic encephalopathy and autism spectrum disorder using genetically engineered human stem cell and genetic mouse models. Depending on the condition and/or genetic variant studied, they use two-dimensional (monolayer) or three-dimensional (organoid) differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into clinically relevant neuronal subtypes coupled with morphological studies and transcriptomic and gene network analyses to identify and understand mutation-specific phenotypes.
His group also studies microcircuit and neuronal network behavior from genetic mouse models and human stem cell models for preclinical drug design and development. They are particularly interested in drug repurposing and in genetic therapies to correct haploinsufficiency.
Boland obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he studied a link between epigenetics and DNA repair in embryonic stem cells. He did his postdoctoral work at the Scripps Research Institute, where he studied the developmental potential and genomic structural variation of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells via mouse cloning and whole genome sequencing. He also studied the integration of gene expression and epigenetic abnormalities during early neurodevelopment in a human induced pluripotent stem cell model of fragile X syndrome. He joined the faculty of Columbia University (Institute for Genomic Medicine and Department of Neurology) in 2015.