Carol Marchetto is a staff scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Gage at The Salk Institute. Carol is specifically involved in understanding the mechanisms by which human embryonic stem cells (HESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) become a fully developed functional neuron. Moreover, Carol is currently studying the behavior of different subtypes of human neurons in the neurodegenerative/neurodevelopmental diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Elucidation of those mechanisms may shed a light on the unique plasticity in the human central nervous system and may help to develop strategies for drug screen platforms and potential therapy candidates for neurologic diseases. Carol is also interested in understanding why our brains are so different from our closest relatives (chimpanzees) and uses iPSC technology to study the neural cells from several non-human primate species and compare their behavior with neurons derived from human cells. Carol obtained her PhD degree in Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her PhD thesis showed the use of gene therapy to revert the cancerous phenotype of skin cancer cells.