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Our laboratory is actively working to develop and improve upon state-of-the-art methods for deriving and maintaining human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), differentiated neurons, and microglia for the modeling of CNS disorders. Collectively, these model systems recapitulate many aspects of neurological diseases that nonhuman genetically engineered model systems may fail to comprehensively model. Our laboratory utilizes these patient-specific stem cell models to investigate disease-relevant phenotypes and identify putative therapeutic targets (e.g., in high-throughput genetic or compound screens). In addition to generating ex vivo cultures of human neurons in a 2D format, we are now working towards generating 3D cerebral organoids of increased complexity. 

Instrumentation

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To better achieve our laboratory's goal of identifying putative therapeutic candidates, we are fortunate to have access to a wide array of advanced instrumentation. Our laboratory is equipped with high-throughput pin-transfer tools, liquid dispensing devices, aspirators, and plate-readers that enable our ability to rapidly scale assays and test biological hypotheses. We also regularly take advantage of our laboratory's high-throughput imaging devices which enable automated fluorescent and brightfield imaging of plates (up to 1536-well format) as well as slides (with automated stitching as shown in the image above). Moreover, our laboratory has recently acquired an automated Western blotting system (Bio-Techne Jess) which we are now using to automate low to medium-throughput immunoblotting experiments. Finally, our laboratory regularly uses various biophysical assays including Surface Plasmon Resonance, Bio-layer Interferometry, and Microscale Thermophoresis. 

Generation and Characterization of Patient-Specific Stem Cell Models