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Stem cell-based replacement therapy represents a new treatment option for patients with neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental disorders. Directed differentiation protocols for derivation of nerve cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have been established, providing a promising source of progenitor cells for replacement therapies. However, the generation of fully functioning cells from hPSCs remains challenging.


Our research focus is to develop methods to effectively drive the neural progenitor cells to differentiate and maintain the breadth of neuronal cell types for building a functional nervous system, with a long-term goal to develop efficacious cell replacement therapy.   We address this research question by (1) delineating the molecular controls underlying the neuronal differentiation of human and mouse neural progenitors using high-resolution RNA sequencing; (2) exploiting the 4D-genome of the neural progenitors; (3) building the human organoid models for recapitulating the development of the central and enteric nervous systems.

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