The Baizabal lab is interested in understanding how the great complexity of the human brain is encoded in our genome. We focus our studies in the cerebral cortex – the mysterious neuronal forest (paraphrasing Santiago Ramón y Cajal) that commands higher cognition in humans. Our exploration begins inside the nucleus of neural stem cells – the pioneer cells that build the entire brain during embryonic development. We aim to understand how genome-wide epigenetic modifications in neural stem cells determine the exquisite architecture of the mature cerebral cortex. We also study the role of the epigenome in maintaining the identity and function of cortical neurons in the mature brain during the lifespan of an organism. Our favorite model organism is the mouse and we are also interested in working with human brain cells in vitro. Our ultimate dream is to produce fundamental knowledge that might spark new directions in the treatment of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans.