Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology
Director: Oliver Brüstle
Scientists around Oliver Brüstle are employing embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and direct cell conversion technologies for studying the earliest steps in the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and for devising novel cell therapies. Today, cell reprogramming and direct cell fate conversion enable standardized derivation of patient-specific brain and spinal cord cells from a few milliliters of blood or a small skin sample. The Brüstle team uses this unique patient-specific resource for in vitro disease modeling, drug development and personalized medicine including neural transplantation and autologous cell therapy. IRN researchers have been pioneering the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into various neural stem and progenitor cell types, which provide an important basis for standardization of our disease modeling and drug testing applications.
In 2014, IRN and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) joined forces to establish a Cell Reprogramming Unit for the centralized production of iPS cells and their use in disease modeling. IRN and DZNE are currently extending their collaboration to enable further synergy between stem cell biology and fundamental disease-related research.