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Development of Stem Cell based therapies for Motor Neurone Disease

Recent advances in stem cell biology allow for the on-demand generation of spinal motor neurones from human pluripotent stem cells. 

Aims

To develop a stem cell based treatment for motor neurone disease patients

Our laboratory has been exploring the possibility that these neurons can be implanted directly into the spinal cord in order to functionally compensate for those lost to the disease process. This project will seek to understand the capacity for implanted motor neurones to appropriately integrate into host circuitry, including innervation of peripheral targets. We will also explore the concept that the implanted neurones can protect the host neurons from the disease process.

Graft of human stem cell derived neurons engineered to express a fluorescent protein (TdT) to allow for identification in the host brain. B) The transplanted neurons migrate to and intermingle with the diseased host motor neurons (ChAT) and may provide trophic support

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