SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series, Oliver Brüstle, Programming NSCs for disease modeling

Monday February 11

Oliver Brüstle

Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn, Germany

Oliver Brüstle, MD, is Professor of Reconstructive Neurobiology at the University of Bonn. He is also Co-Founder and Scientific Director of LIFE & BRAIN GmbH, a biomedical enterprise serving as translational hub of the University of Bonn Medical Center. Trained as an M.D., Oliver Brüstle conducted research and clinical work in neuropathology and neurosurgery at the universities of Zurich and Erlangen, respectively. In 1993 he joined the laboratory of Ron McKay at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD, USA to study neural stem cells. Upon his return to Germany in 1997, he started is own lab and, in 2002, became director of the newly founded Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology. His field of interest is stem cell research with a particular focus stem cell-based disease modeling and nervous system repair.

In 2013, Brüstle was elected founding president of the German Stem Cell Network. He also serves as Chair of the Managing Board of the Stem Cell Network North Rhine Westphalia. Brüstle is a member of EMBO and Senator of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Having been the first researcher working on human embryonic stem cells in Germany, Oliver Brüstle was instrumental in shaping the public debate around this sensitive topic and became a fierce political advocate of stem cell research.

Programming NSCs for disease modeling and therapy development

The derivation of neurons and glia from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) offers unprecedented opportunities for modelling neurological diseases in vitro. To facilitate the application of iPSC in biomedical research we have devised approaches for the generation of stable intermediate neural stem cell (NSC) populations, which serve as standardized source of human neurons and glia. Captured at different time points of the in vitro differentiation process, these NSC populations exhibit distinct differentiation propensities ranging from early pan-neural to late gliogenic precursors. Recent developments in transcription factor-based cell fate conversion have opened even faster routes for the direct generation of patient-specific iNSC from peripheral blood. Remarkably, iNSC exhibit epigenetic rejuvenation similar to iPSCs. This talk will cover the generation of patient-specific NSC populations and their application in disease modeling, drug discovery and neural repair.

Read more about Oliver Brüstles research

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