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Robert C. Krencik

Robert C. Krencik, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Academic Institute
Associate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College


Astrocellular Therapeutics Lab


Phone:
713.363.9742


rkrencik@houstonmethodist.org
Biography

Dr. Krencik received his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Dr. Su-Chun Zhang. During this time, he devised the first cellular system for the efficient generation of human glial progenitors and astrocyte subtypes from pluripotent stem cells and characterized their functionality. This system has been experimentally utilized for cellular replacement therapy to promote learning and memory and to improve the maturity of neuronal subtypes. Furthermore, this powerful approach has become the high standard in research laboratories throughout the world to study various aspects of human disease. To understand how human astrocytes respond and signal to neurons in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders, Dr. Krencik conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California-San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Erik Ullian and co-mentorship of Dr. David Rowitch. These studies led to several novel and important discoveries including the identification of a possible mechanism for astrocytes in controlling the timing of synaptic plasticity. More recently, he has been optimizing three dimensional in vitro cocultures of the human nervous system as an improved disease model and platform for neuroregeneration. His research goals and schemes have been summarized in numerous review articles and he enjoys interacting with the scientific community at conferences and through collaborative research projects. 

Description of Research

The Krencik lab is specifically focused on understanding the functional relationship of human neurons and astrocytes in normal and injured states. We employ novel three-dimensional human pluripotent stem cell-based culture techniques, optogenetic methods, electrophysiology, transplantations and molecular/biochemical approaches to answer vital questions and accelerate progress in neuroregeneration including cellular engraftment therapy and drug discovery. In addition, we work with the Neurosurgery Department and other institutions at the Texas Medical Center with the goal of translating innovative neuroscience research discoveries into clinical therapies for restoration of the nervous system after injury and disease.

Areas Of Expertise

Stem cells Neural stem cells Neuroscience Neuroregeneration Astrocytes Neuron-Glia interactions Physiology Disease modeling Translational medicine Spinal cord Spinal cord Injury
Education & Training

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BS, Indiana University Bloomington
MS, Iowa State University
Publications

Asteroid Impact: The Potential of Astrocytes to Modulate Human Neural Networks within Organoids
Lavekar , S, Patel, M, Montalvo Parra, MD & Krencik, RC 2023, , Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 17, 1305921, pp. 1305921. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2023.1305921

Machine learning dissection of human accelerated regions in primate neurodevelopment
Whalen, S, Inoue, F, Ryu, H, Fair, T, Markenscoff-Papadimitriou, E, Keough, K, Kircher, M, Martin, B, Alvarado, B, Elor, O, Laboy Cintron, D, Williams, A, Hassan Samee, MA, Thomas, S, Krencik, R, Ullian, EM, Kriegstein, A, Rubenstein, JL, Shendure, J, Pollen, AA, Ahituv, N & Pollard, KS 2023, , Neuron, vol. 111, no. 6, pp. 857-873.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2022.12.026

Human Midbrain Organoids to Unravel Astrocyte Lipid Dysregulation in Parkinson’s Disease
Tahanis, A, Nguyen, T, Patel, M, Oji, S & Krencik, RC 2023, , Neuroscience 2023: Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C. United States, 11/11/23 - 11/15/23.

Screening Human Astrocyte Matrisome Components upon Synaptic Networks within Neural Organoids
Patel, M, Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Lavekar , S, Nasr Esfahani, S, Oji, S, Horner, PJ, Veiseh, O & Krencik, RC 2023, , Neuroscience 2023: Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C. United States, 11/11/23 - 11/15/23.

AstroCapsules: A Novel Tool to Detect and Modulate the Neurotrauma Microenvironment
Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Rosner, K, Montalvo Parra, MD, Veiseh, O & Krencik, RC 2023, , Mission Connect Symposium 2023, 11/17/23.

Screening Human Astrocyte Matrisome Components upon Synaptic Networks within Neural Organoids
Patel, M, Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Lavekar , S, Nasr Esfahani, S, Oji, S, Horner, PJ, Veiseh, O & Krencik, RC 2023, , Mission Connect Symposium 2023, 11/17/23.

Human Astrocyte Lipid Trafficking Dysregulation In Parkinson’s Disease
Tahanis, A, Nguyen, T & Krencik, RC 2023, , 148th American Neurological Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, United States, 9/9/23 - 9/12/23.

Expansion microscopy to Investigate Human Astrocyte Reactivity within Organoids
Lavekar , S, Patel, M, Oji, S & Krencik, RC 2023, , Houston Methodist Summer Science Symposium, 8/4/23.

Machine-learning dissection of Human Accelerated Regions in primate neurodevelopment
Whalen, S, Inoue, F, Ryu, H, Fairr, T, Markenscoff-Papadimitriou, E, Keough, K, Kircher, M, Martin, B, Alvarado, B, Elor, O, Cintron, D, Williams, A, Samee, MAH, Thomas, S, Krencik, RC, Ullian, E, Kriegstein, A, Rubenstein, J, Shendure, J, Pollen, A, Ahituv, N & Pollard, K 2022, , bioRxiv.

Assessing Gq-GPCR–induced human astrocyte reactivity using bioengineered neural organoids
Cvetkovic, C, Patel, R, Shetty, A, Hogan, MK, Anderson, M, Basu, N, Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Ramesh, S, Sardar, D, Veiseh, O, Ward, ME, Deneen, B, Horner, PJ & Krencik, R 2022, , Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 221, no. 4, e202107135. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202107135

Dissecting Human Astrocyte Extracellular Signaling within the Neuroinflammatory Microenvironment
Krencik, RC 2021, , Mission Connect Annual Scientific Symposium 2021, 11/12/21.

A contemporary review of therapeutic and regenerative management of intracerebral hemorrhage
Sadaf, H, Desai, VR, Misra, V, Golanov, E, Hegde, ML, Villapol, S, Karmonik, C, Regnier-Golanov, A, Sayenko, D, Horner, PJ, Krencik, R, Weng, YL, Vahidy, FS & Britz, GW 2021, , Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51443

Uncovering Extracellular Mechanisms of Astrocyte-Dependent Neurodegeneration in Parkinson's Disease
Krencik, RC 2021, , 2021 MAPTA Summer Science Symposium, Houston, United States, 8/5/21 - 8/6/21.

NEUROSOME/ASTROSOME COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS OF USE
Krencik, RC May. 14 2021, , Patent No. WO2021091582.

Mapping astrocyte transcriptional signatures in response to neuroactive compounds
Sardar, D, Lozzi, B, Woo, J, Huang, TW, Cvetkovic, C, Creighton, CJ, Krencik, R & Deneen, B 2021, , International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 22, no. 8, 3975. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22083975

DNAzyme Cleavage of CAG Repeat RNA in Polyglutamine Diseases
Zhang, N, Bewick, B, Schultz, J, Tiwari, A, Krencik, R, Zhang, A, Adachi, K, Xia, G, Yun, K, Sarkar, P & Ashizawa, T 2021, , Neurotherapeutics, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 1710-1728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-021-01075-w

Targeting the extracellular matrix for immunomodulation: applications in drug delivery and cell therapies
Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Nash, A, Kim, B, Krencik, R & Veiseh, O 2021, , Drug Delivery and Translational Research, vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 2394-2413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-021-01018-0, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-021-01018-0

Humanized Biomimetic Nanovesicles for Neuron Targeting
Zinger, A, Cvetkovic, C, Sushnitha, M, Naoi, T, Baudo, G, Anderson, M, Shetty, A, Basu, N, Covello, J, Tasciotti, E, Amit, M, Xie, T, Taraballi, F & Krencik, R 2021, , Advanced Science, vol. 8, no. 19, 2101437, pp. e2101437. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202101437

Targeting the extracellular matrix for immunomodulation: applications in drug delivery and cell therapies
Aghlara-Fotovat, S, Nash, A, Kim, B, Krencik, R & Veiseh, O 2021, , Drug Delivery and Translational Research, vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 2394-2413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13346-021-01018-0

Humanized Biomimetic Nanovesicles for Neuron Targeting
Zinger, A, Cvetkovic, C, Sushnitha, M, Naoi, T, Baudo, G, Anderson, M, Shetty, A, Basu, N, Covello, J, Tasciotti, E, Amit, M, Xie, T, Taraballi, F & Krencik, R 2021, , Advanced Science, vol. 8, no. 19, 2101437. https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202101437