Abishek Arora

Abishek Arora

PhD student

The core purpose of my research is to decipher the gene-environment crosstalk in atypical brain development and autism, using human derived stem cells.

About me

I am a PhD student in the Tammimies Lab, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND), Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet. As Co-Chair of the NeurotechEU Student Council, I advocate for access and excellence in neuroscience education and research.

Before moving to KI, I received my Master of Science in Neuroscience (2016 – 2017) from the Department of Experimental Psychology and St Catherine's College, University of Oxford. I was awarded the Felix Scholarship to pursue my graduate studies at Oxford, specialising in neurodevelopment, motor systems, molecular neuroscience and clinical mental health.

In India, I completed my Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Biotechnology (2012 – 2016) from the Centre for Medical Biotechnology – Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Uttar Pradesh. At Amity, I was awarded with a Gold Medal and Chancellor's Award in recognition of my academic and social welfare activities.

Research description

An understanding of how the brain develops in health and disease, is crucial for improving patient outcomes and well-being. Such knowledge can be applied for developing robust and cost-effective diagnostic and treatment strategies. 

As a PhD student in the Tammimies Lab, I am interested in the molecular and clinical processes that underlie neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Deciphering complex gene-environment interactions using a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) derived model of ASD is the key goal of my research. For this, I use in-vitro gene editing tools and environment simulations in iPSC derived human neurons and cerebral organoids. Findings in this direction will be an essential starting point for precision clinical interventions.

Read more about our work as a part of the Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND) and KIND Genomics.

Previous Research

As a Research Assistant (2017 – 2018) for the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, I worked with Prof Gabriele DeLuca, Dr Louise Silver and Prof Margaret Esiri, to analyse the clinical processes underpinning dementia.

During my graduate studies at Oxford, I developed a 3D printed, high-throughput system for the culture of cerebral organoids from hiPSCs with Prof Francis Szele and Prof Hua Ye. I also characterised novel, post-mortem molecular markers in progressive multiple sclerosis with Prof Gabriele DeLuca.

Teaching portfolio


- Basic Structure and Development – From Egg to Embryo (CMB, KI), Spring 2021

Tutorial/ Small Group Teaching:

- Genetics in Health and Disease (CMB, KI), Spring 2020

Research/ Laboratory Training:

- Jenny Humphrey (Medical Programme, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Autumn 2020

- İlayda Erakın (BSc Student, İzmir Institute of Technology, Turkey), Spring 2019

- Hala Habash (BSc Student, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Spring 2019


PhD Medical Science (Neuroscience) – Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet (2019 – Present)

MSc Neuroscience – Department of Experimental Psychology and St Catherine's College, University of Oxford (2016 – 2017)

BSc (Hons) Medical Biotechnology – Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University Uttar Pradesh (2012 – 2016)

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Light Senior Scholarship – St Catherine's College, University of Oxford (2017)

Felix Scholarship – University of Oxford (2016)

Gold Medal and Citation – Amity University Uttar Pradesh (2016)

Shree Baljit Shastri Award – Amity University Uttar Pradesh (2016)

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