Omer Bayraktar’s research group aims to explore human cortical cell type diversity in health and disease. He aims to harness single cell and spatial genomics tools to comprehensively map brain cell types, understand how glial cells shape neuronal circuits and identify cellular pathways affected in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Bayraktar’s graduate work in Chris Doe’s laboratory at the University of Oregon focused on the characterization of genetic mechanisms of neural diversification during development and his postdoctoral work identified astroglial layers in the cerebral cortex. He started his research group in the Cellular Genetics Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in 2018.
His lab employs a variety of research methods to achieve their aims, including novel high-throughput spatial genomics approaches and charting 2D/3D cellular maps of human brain and other tissues. His group has developed computational tools to integrate single cell and spatial transcriptomics data and comprehensively map complex tissues, including the brain.
His team is aiming to apply these approaches to identifying specific neural cell types and circuits in the developing brain relevant to autism spectrum disorder and identifying cellular pathways affected in Down syndrome. Bayraktar also leads the Wellcome Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) High-Throughput Spatial Genomics Initiative to scale spatial genomics workflows for the Human Cell Atlas project.