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Schuele Lab Research Projects iPSC Summary

Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling of Parkinson's Disease

Project Summary

Recent groundbreaking discoveries allow us to transduce adult human skin cells with specific factors to generate cells that exhibit characteristics of embryonic stem cells. These cells, termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), will be used as experimental pre-clinical models to study disease mechanisms unique to Parkinson's disease and will become a powerful tool for drug screening.

The absence of cellular models of Parkinson's disease represents a major bottleneck in Parkinson's disease research. If an “authentic” cellular model for Parkinson's disease is found, it could be instantly translated into a wide range of clinical applications.

In collaboration with the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford, we have launched an initiative to develop patient-specific iPSC lines from patients with Parkinson's disease.

The objectives of this initiative are:

  1. to establish a bank of iPSC lines from patients with sporadic Parkinson's disease and patients with mutations in causative genes for Parkinson's disease.

  2. to differentiate iPSCs into dopaminergic neurons and assess the neurochemical and neuropathological characteristics of Parkinson's disease of these cells in vitro

  3. to test the hypothesis that specific pharmacologic agents can be used to block or reverse pathological characteristics

For a more indepth discussion on this project please click here

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