MSI PIs and Stem Cell Institute researchers Ann Parr (associate professor, Neurosurgery) and James Dutton (associate professor, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) have developed a faster way to generate neural and glial cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Existing ways of creating these cells were lengthy and involved several steps, so Professors Parr and Dutton developed an entirely new method that involves exposing the stem cells to different combinations of chemicals. They hit on a combination that creates cells quickly and cheaply. It is hoped that this improved method will allow not only increased production, but greater clinical usage.
A story about this breakthrough appears on the website of the University of Minnesota Medical School: Stem Cell Institute Researchers Speed Up Neuron Reproduction With New Differentiation Protocol.
Professor Parr uses MSI for research into the use of stem cells to treat spinal cord injury. Professor Dutton uses MSI resources for transcriptome analysis and exome sequence comparisons in support of investigations into methods of reprogramming cells to devise new disease treatments.