Staff Profiles

Bosiljka Tasic, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Molecular Genetics

Bosiljka Tasic joined the Allen Institute in 2011 as one of the founding members of the Mouse Cell Types program to establish methods for studying cell-type specific neuronal connectivity. She currently leads an effort toward comprehensive molecular analysis of neuronal identity in the mouse visual system. Before joining the Allen Institute, Bosiljka completed her postdoctoral training with Liqun Luo at Stanford University, where she developed molecular genetic techniques for labeling and manipulation of specific neuronal populations or single neurons in Drosophila and mice, and a new method for site-specific transgenesis in mice. Bosiljka received a Bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Belgrade (once Yugoslavia, now Serbia), and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology with Tom Maniatis at Harvard University, where she studied mechanisms of vertebrate-specific protocadherin gene expression in the nervous system and their role in neuronal identity.

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Research Interests

Mammalian nervous systems are composed of diverse neurons, some of which have been identified by one or more properties: specific shape, physiology or molecular signature. However, a consensus approach to neuronal classification does not exist, and the correlations of different types of neuronal properties with one another and neuronal function have not been systematically examined. Therefore, we still don't know how many different flavors of cellular building blocks comprise even relatively simple mammalian brains such as the mouse brain. At the Allen Institute, I am part of the Cell Types program, which aims to characterize and categorize neurons in mouse and human cortex. My team is approaching this question at the molecular level, by analyzing transcriptomes and epigenetic landscapes of individual neurons or defined neuronal populations, mostly in the mouse cortex. Through these efforts, we have discovered a number of specific genetic markers that we are now using to create tools for genetic access to specific cell types. We also collaborate with a number of other teams across the institute to establish multi-modal neuronal phenotyping and classification. In the long run, we hope our studies will reveal how molecular characteristics determine neuronal phenotypes, and how they have changed during mammalian evolution to produce species-specific neuronal types and functions.


  • Molecular genetics
  • Genomics
  • Gene expression

Research Programs

  • Mouse Cell Types

Selected Publications View on PUBMED

Single-cell profiling of the developing mouse brain and spinal cord with split-pool barcoding

March 15, 2018

Rosenberg AB, Roco CM, Muscat RA, Kuchina A, Sample P, Yao Z, Gray L, Peeler DJ, Mukherjee S, Chen W, Pun SH, Sellers DL, Tasic B, Seelig G

Identification of preoptic sleep neurons using retrograde labelling and gene profiling

May 17, 2017

Chung S, Weber F, Zhong P, Tan CL, Nguyen TN, Beier KT, Hörmann N, Chang WC, Zhang Z, Do JP, Yao S, Krashes MJ, Tasic B, Cetin A, Zeng H, Knight ZA, Luo L, Dan Y

Layer-specific chromatin accessibility landscapes reveal regulatory networks in adult mouse visual cortex

January 23, 2017

Gray LT, Yao Z, Nguyen TN, Kim TK, Zeng H, Tasic B

Disentangling neural cell diversity using single-cell transcriptomics

Nature Neuroscience
August 26, 2016

Poulin JF, Tasic B, Hjerling-Leffler J, Trimarchi JM, Awatramani R

Adult mouse cortical cell taxonomy revealed by single cell transcriptomics

Nature Neuroscience
January 4, 2016

Tasic B, Menon V, Nguyen TN, Kim TK, Jarsky T, Yao Z, Levi B1, Gray LT, Sorensen SA, Dolbeare T, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Shapovalova N, Parry S, Lee C, Smith K, Bernard A, Madisen L, Sunkin SM, Hawrylycz M, Koch C, Zeng H

A molecular basis for classic blond hair color in Europeans

Nature Genetics
July 2014

Guenther CA, Tasic B, Luo L, Bedell MA, Kingsley DM

Site-specific integrase-mediated transgenesis in mice via pronuclear injection

May 2011

Tasic B, Hippenmeyer S, Wang C, Gamboa M, Zong H, Chen-Tsai Y, Luo L

Cortical representations of olfactory bulb input by transsynaptic labeling

April 2011

Miyamichi K, Anat F, Moussavi F, Wang C, Wickersham I, Wall NR, Taniguchi H, Tasic B, Huang ZJ, He Z, Callaway EM, Horowitz MA, Luo L