Dr Omer Bayraktar | Group Leader

Bayraktar, Omer

Omer's research aims to explore human brain cellular diversity using large-scale approaches. His team will harness spatial transcriptomics, imaging and functional screening to study neural diversity in health and disease.

Omer is fascinated by the cellular complexity of the brain. His research team is interested in using large-scale approaches to map brain cell types, to identify how glial cells shape neuronal circuits and to discover cellular pathways affected in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Omer did his postdoc with David Rowitch at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Cambridge as a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow. During his postdoc, Omer developed a large-scale spatial transcriptomic pipeline to map single cell gene expression and neural subtypes in situ. Using this approach, he discovered the heterogeneity of astroglial cells across the layers and areas of the mammalian cerebral cortex. He identified that astrocyte layer patterns diverge from classical neuronal laminae, revealing the complex neuroglial architecture of the cerebral cortex.

Omer did his PhD with Chris Doe at HHMI to understand the developmental specification of neural diversity using Drosophila. He characterized a new neural stem cell model in the fruit fly brain that shares similarities with human neural stem cells. He discovered that multiple temporal patterning progarsams act in a combinatorial fashion to expand the neural diversity output of transit-amplifying progenitors. This work revealed a new concept in neural patterning that could expand neural cell type diversity in the human brain.


  • Single-cell in situ transcriptomic map of astrocyte cortical layer diversity

    Bayraktar OA, Bartels T, Polioudakis D, Holmqvist S, Ben Haim L et al.

    bioRxiv 2018;432104

  • Aging Neural Progenitors Lose Competence to Respond to Mitogenic Notch Signaling.

    Farnsworth DR, Bayraktar OA and Doe CQ

    Current biology : CB 2015;25;23;3058-68

  • Astrocyte development and heterogeneity.

    Bayraktar OA, Fuentealba LC, Alvarez-Buylla A and Rowitch DH

    Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology 2014;7;1;a020362

  • Combinatorial temporal patterning in progenitors expands neural diversity.

    Bayraktar OA and Doe CQ

    Nature 2013;498;7455;449-55

  • Functional genomics identifies neural stem cell sub-type expression profiles and genes regulating neuroblast homeostasis.

    Carney TD, Miller MR, Robinson KJ, Bayraktar OA, Osterhout JA and Doe CQ

    Developmental biology 2012;361;1;137-46

  • Drosophila type II neuroblast lineages keep Prospero levels low to generate large clones that contribute to the adult brain central complex.

    Bayraktar OA, Boone JQ, Drummond ML and Doe CQ

    Neural development 2010;5;26

  • Site-specific binding of a PPR protein defines and stabilizes 5' and 3' mRNA termini in chloroplasts.

    Pfalz J, Bayraktar OA, Prikryl J and Barkan A

    The EMBO journal 2009;28;14;2042-52

  • Two CRM protein subfamilies cooperate in the splicing of group IIB introns in chloroplasts.

    Asakura Y, Bayraktar OA and Barkan A

    RNA (New York, N.Y.) 2008;14;11;2319-32

Bayraktar, Omer
Omer's Timeline

Appointed Cellular Genetics Group Leader (Faculty) at Wellcome Sanger Institute


Postdoctoral Fellow, Advisor: David Rowitch, University of Cambridge, UK


Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship


Awarded Ph.D., Biology, Advisor: Chris Doe, University of Oregon, HHMI, USA

Postdoctoral Fellow, Advisor: David Rowitch, University of California San Francisco, USA


Awarded B.S., Molecular Biology and Genetics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TURKEY