Cell Programming Unit
University of Bonn Medical Faculty
Team leader: Michael Peitz
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease comprise a heterogeneous group of sporadic or familial disorders of the nervous system that lead to progressive loss of neural cells. A major challenge in studying the molecular pathomechanisms underlying these disorders is the limited experimental access to disease-affected human neural tissue. Since the molecular disease initiation occurs years or decades before patients develop symptoms, biopsy or autopsy specimens can only reflect the final phase of the disease.
Novel cell (re)programming approaches such as the generation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from somatic cells or direct cell fate conversion provide access to virtually unlimited numbers of patient-specific neural lineages for the study of disease-relevant pathomechanisms. Successful identification of early pathological alterations should also help to uncover potential targets for drug development.
The Cell Programming Core Facility employs state-of-the-art cell (re-)programming, genome editing as well as differentiation technologies and is constantly refining its technological portfolio. To promote the establishment of innovative stem cell-based in vitro models we offer the following services:
- Generation and provision of human iPS cell lines
- Genome editing
- Neural differentiation of iPS cells