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Rebecca Hodge, Ph.D.

Assistant Investigator


Rebecca Hodge joined the Allen Institute as a Scientist II in the Human Cell Types program in March of 2014. Prior to joining the Institute, she conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Hevner at the University of Washington and the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. There, she studied the actions of transcription factors during the process of neurogenesis (the generation of neurons) in both the developing and adult brain.

She completed her undergraduate training at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia where she received a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in animal physiology. Her graduate training was completed in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC. Her Ph.D. work at UBC focused on the role of growth factors in regulating neural stem cell development and the generation of neurons during early development of the mammalian cerebral cortex.

Research Focus:

At the Allen Institute for Brain Science, I am part of the Human Cell Types program, which seeks to understand the unique structural and functional characteristics of the human cerebral cortex. In order to achieve this goal, we are striving to classify and describe the diversity of neuronal and glia cell types that exist in the developing and adult human brain. We plan to build upon previous human gene expression atlases created at the Allen Institute, and extend this work to comprehensively describing the molecular characteristics of cells in the human cerebral cortex at the level of single cell gene expression.

We will use high throughput qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq methodologies to conduct transcriptional profiling of a large number of single cells derived from specific stages and regions of the human cerebral cortex. This data will allow us to comprehensively understand the molecular signatures that discriminate individual cell types during brain development and in the adult. The molecular classification data that we generate will be combined with morphological, anatomical, and physiological data generated by other members of the Human Cell Types team to enable a quantitative classification of the breadth of cell types that exist within the human brain.

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