Genes, Development And Behavior
Department of Translational Neuroscience
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Onur Basak


Name: Onur Basak
Position: Assistant Professor
Phone:  (+31) (0)88 75 61234
Phone secretariat: (+31) (0)88 75 68810 




The cellular diversity of the human brain is immense, which is generated through evolutionarily conserved developmental mechanisms. The system is robust enough to create functional masterpiece; yet is susceptible to failure that may lead to cognitive dysfunction.

The research in my lab focuses on understanding the role of cellular and molecular heterogeneity with a focus on neural stem cell niche, neuronal differentiation and cognitive disorders. We use state-of-the art single cell sequencing techniques, mouse genetics and ES/iPS derived organoid models to run multidisciplinary, collaborative projects.



The focus of my lab can be summarized two major goals.

We aim to:

1) Understand the molecular circuits regulating NSC fate choices, including differentiation into a diverse range of neuronal cell types using a combination of mouse genetics, CRISPR-based lineage tracing and single cell sequencing strategies

2) Search for developmental origins of cognitive disorders using human iPS-derived organoids and single cell DNA/RNA sequencing technologies


Recent key publications

1) Basak O*, Beumer J*, Wiebrands K*, Seno H, Oudenaarden A, Clevers H. Induced quiescence of Lgr5+ stem cells in intestinal organoids enables differentiation of hormone-producing enteroendocrine cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2017, Feb 2; 20(2):177-190.

2) Grün D, Lyubimova A, Kester L, Wiebrands K, Basak O, Sasaki N, Clevers H, van Oudenaarden A. Single-cell messenger RNA sequencing reveals rare intestinal cell types. Nature, 2015, Sep 10, 525(7568):251-255.

3) Giachino C*, Basak O*, Lugert S, Knuckles P, Obernier K, Fiorelli R, Frank S, Raineteau O, Alvarez-Buylla A, Taylor V. Molecular diversity subdivides the adult forebrain neural stem cell population. Stem Cells, 2014, 32: Jan; 32(1):70-84.

4) Basak O*, Giachino C*, Fiorini E, Macdonald HR, Taylor V. Neurogenic subventricular zone stem/progenitor cells are Notch1-dependent in their active but not quiescent state. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2014, 32 (16):5654-5666.