For his doctoral research at Hebrew University, Omer Revah earned both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a PhD in Neuroscience from the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine (KSVM). His PhD deployed electrophysiological, imaging, pharmacological, and molecular tools to investigate the molecular pathways of cortical injury.
Dr. Revah’s clinical experience led to an interest in neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, developmental delay, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His postdoctoral research at the Stanford University School of Medicine focused on early brain development, when these disorders are believed to originate, and when intervention can be most successful. He used human stem cells, including cells derived from patients, to build brain organoids that model early corticogenesis and help understand circuit and molecular dysfunction associated with autism and intellectual disability. He also showed that transplanted cortical organoids are able to progress in maturation far more than their in vitro cultured counterparts, leading to uncovering single cell and circuit level phenotypes in patient derived cells that might not otherwise have been detected. This research was featured in The New York Times (“Human Brain Cells Grow in Rats and Feel What the Rats Feel”) and The Washington Post (“Transplant of human brain tissue into rats could help study autism, other disorders”).
At KSVM, Dr. Revah is generating the first ever in vivo human brain organoid model of the multisystemic neurodevelopmental disorder, William Beuren Syndrome (WBS). Unlike other developmental disorders, which tend to impair social behavior, WBS patients show increased sociability. Dr. Revah hopes to gain a better understanding of WBS’ molecular basis, to understand the impact of various genetic mutations on human and canine social behavior, and eventually to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating these devastating disorders.