Staff Profiles

John Mich, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

John Mich joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2014 as Scientist. As part of the Human Cell Types group, he is contributing to a developmental map of human brain cell types. John became interested in the generation of human neural cell types when he was studying how Hedgehog signaling patterns the developing central nervous system during his Ph.D. in Biochemistry with James Chen at Stanford. It was clear that new techniques were sorely needed to apply our expanding knowledge of central nervous system development to human medical needs. Accordingly, John carried out postdoctoral research with Sean Morrison where he developed techniques to isolate neural stem cells and study their properties directly.  These techniques will be expanded and adapted to a complete developmental map of the human brain cortex.


Research Interests

As part of the Human Cell Types group, I will map human brain development by systematically identifying all the cell types that arise, and then charting the lineal relationships among those cell types. To facilitate this human lineage map, I am adapting flow cytometry techniques I developed in mouse brain to the human brain, using both authentic human samples as well as in vitro models of human development. New cell types will be discovered by unbiased antigen screening, systematically interrogated for gene expression profiles with single-cell transcriptomics, and then assembled into a lineage map.  These data will be essential toward a complete understanding of how the human brain’s incredible diversity is achieved.


  • Neural stem cells
  • Flow cytometry
  • Organic chemistry

Research Programs

  • Molecular Networks

Selected Publications View Publications

Functional enhancer elements drive subclass-selective expression from mouse to primate neocortex

Cell Reports
March 30, 2021

Mich JK, Graybuck LT, Hess EE, Mahoney JT, Kojima Y, Ding Y, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Kalmbach BE, Radaelli C, Gore BB, Weed N, Omstead V, Bishaw Y, Shapovalova NV, Martinez RA, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Loftus L, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Dee N, Opitz-Araya X, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Sunkin SM, Gradinaru V, Horwitz GD, Zeng H, Tasic B, Lein ES, Ting JT, Levi BP

Enhancer viruses for combinatorial cell-subclass-specific labeling

March 23, 2021

Graybuck LT, Daigle TL, Sedeño-Cortés AE, Walker M, Kalmbach B, Lenz GH, Morin E, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Bendrick JL, Kim TK, Zhou T, Mortrud M, Yao S, Siverts LA, Larsen R, Gore BB, Szelenyi ER, Trader C, Balaram P, van Velthoven CTJ, Chiang M, Mich JK, Dee N, Goldy J, Cetin AH, Smith K, Way SW, Esposito L, Yao Z, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Lein E, Levi BP, Ting JT, Zeng H, Tasic B.

Epigenetic landscape and AAV targeting of human neocortical cell classes

February 19, 2019

Mich JK, Hess EE, Graybuck LT, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Ding Y, Shapovalova NV, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Kroll M, Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Yao Z, Dee N, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B, Ting JT, Levi BP

Prospective identification of functionally distinct stem cells and neurosphere-initiating cells in adult mouse forebrain

May 7, 2014

Mich JK, Signer RA, Nakada D, Pineda A, Burgess RJ, Vue TY, Johnson JE, Morrison SJ

Germ cell migration in zebrafish is cyclopamine-sensitive but Smoothened-independent

Developmental Biology
April 15, 2009

Mich JK, Blaser H, Thomas NA, Firestone AJ, Yelon D, Raz E, Chen JK