Generating neuronal subpopulations from pluripotent stem cell sources for disease modelling and brain repair
The Stem Cells and Neural Development Group has a keen interest in the use of pluripotent stem cells for brain repair.
The team is focused on developing highly standardised protocols for the generation of various neuronal populations from human pluripotent stem cells, with these cells providing valuable tools for disease modelling in the dish, drug screening or transplantation into the injured brain.
A particular interest in the group has been the generation of dopamine neurons, the major cell population that dies in Parkinson’s disease. Using embryonic and induced pluripotent-derived stem cells, the group has successfully generated human dopamine neurons suitable for clinical translation.
This has included demonstrating the appropriate identification of the generated cells, their function, as well as the suitability of the protocol for efficient scalability and banking (cryopreservation) of the cells.
Most recently we have demonstrated that these stem cell-derived dopamine neurons are capable of alleviating motor symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Ongoing work in the team is now focused on developing strategies to purify populations prior to grafting, ensure safety for the use of pluripotent stem cells into the clinic and enhance the integration of these transplanted cells into the host brain.
Our ongoing stem cell research aims to generate interneuron, striatal, and cortical neuronal populations from mouse and human pluripotent stem cells, with a focus on in vivo transplantation into disease models.
Take part in this project
Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.