Following the cues from mouse embryonic development we have recently succeeded in generating spinal cord neurons from a neuromesodermal progenitor population (NMP).
This in vitro system opens up new opportunities for the study and treatment of neuromuscular diseases due to its great advantage of simultaneously generating cell types of neural and mesodermal origin in the “dish”.
Our focus is understanding how these two tissues are generated in space and time during development, how they interact and, intriguingly, how defects in early development of these tissues can lead to different predisposition to disease in the adult life.
To address these questions we are using gain and loss of gene function approaches (Crispr/Cas9 system), single cell genomics (RNA-seq) as well as live cell imaging techniques on human and mouse pluripotent stem cells.
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