Principal Investigators

    Dr Tilo Kunath


    University of Edinburgh

    Contact information of lead PI


    United Kingdom

    Title of project or programme

    Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from people with Parkinson's / Modelling Parkinson's with rat embryonic stem cells and transgenesis (extension)

    Source of funding information

    Parkinson's UK

    Total sum awarded (Euro)

    € 744,219

    Start date of award


    Total duration of award in years


    The project/programme is most relevant to:

    Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders


    Research Abstract

    The recent advances in reprogramming somatic cells to generate induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells has provided the opportunity to establish patient-specific pluripotent cell lines. These may be used for disease modelling, an autologous source of material for future cell-based therapies, or to generate a bank of HLA-typed pluripotent cells. A significant drawback of the current methods is the use of viruses to deliver the reprogramming factors. We have established a novel non-viral method based on a single DNA construct that is able to efficiency reprogram mouse and human cells. We will use this technology combined with the piggyBac transposon system to establish genetically unmodified iPS cells from people with Parkinson’s. This proof-of-principle study will establish the feasibility and efficiency of this approach. The established Parkinson’s and control iPS cell lines will be compared in differentiation studies and sensitivity to apoptotic stimuli. The neuroprotective E3 ubiquitin ligase, Parkin, will be added to Parkinson’s iPS cells using a tunable inducible system, and the resulting cells will be differentiated and used in a 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of Parkinson’s. This work will establish a procedure to generate genetically unmodified iPS cells that can be used to create models of familial Parkinson’s and for potential future cell-based therapies.

    Lay Summary

    Further information available at:

Types: Investments > €500k
Member States: United Kingdom
Diseases: Parkinson's disease & PD-related disorders
Years: 2016
Database Categories: N/A
Database Tags: N/A

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