By combining expertise in stem cell biology and neurobiology, our laboratory has pioneered a new approach to study neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases in human stem cell based models. The focus of our research is understanding the molecular pathology of specific neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. This approach allows to understand the normal interaction of human neurons and glial cells and the impact of genes involved in neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment on neurite integrity in human stem cell derived models.
We are working to understand how neurons from patients with various neurologic diseases differ from those from healthy controls. Specifically, we obtain skin samples from patients, which are then reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and subsequently differentiated into human neurons and glial cells. We try to understand the normal interaction of human neurons and glial cells and the impact of neurodegeneration on neurite integrity in human stem cell derived models. The goal of our research is to better understand the genetic and cellular mechanisms, in the hope that this may one day lead to new potential therapies.
Our human stem cell based research currently focuses on the following areas: