University of Dundee

New facility makes iPS cell lines available to University life sciences and medical researchers

10 Sep 2014

New facility makes iPS cell lines available to University life sciences and medical researchers

Researchers at the University of Dundee now have access to iPS cell lines from the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Facility, a new initiative jointly funded by the College of Life Sciences (CLS) and the College of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing (CMDN). Overseen by a cross-college committee, the facility is managed by Dr. Lindsay Davidson and will allow researchers across the university access to these cells in their work.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are generated from somatic cells, such as skin cells by reprogamming them to an embryonic stem cell state. iPS cells are important for life sciences and medical research as they propagate indefinitely in culture, and can develop into any type of cell in the body including heart, brain, pancreatic and liver cells. 

Dr. Davidson, previously a senior scientist at Cellartis AB, one of Europe's leading stem cell companies, explained the significance of the facility for researchers at the University:

“The facility will provide researchers with access to human pluripotent stem cells from large well characterised cell banks, ensuring dependable supply of undifferentiated cells with low background levels of differentiation in a variety of formats. By creating this centralised facility we aim to take all of the headache out of working with human pluripotent stem cells and make it simple for people to incorporate them into their workflow without prior knowledge or experience, backed up with all of the training and support that they might need. With advances in genome engineering technologies such as zinc finger nucleases and the CRISPR/cas system it is also possible to make knock-out and knock-in hiPS cell lines, providing an attractive alternative to animal models to study the function of a particular gene“.



Professor Kate Storey heads up the cross-college committee overseeing the facility, which includes Professor Rory McCrimmon and Dr Marios Stavridis from CMDN and Professor Angus Lamond of CLS. She said:

“Working with human cells is an important translational approach for many life science researchers. The facility should enable groups across the University of Dundee to exploit the power of human pluripotent stem cells, which can now be differentiated into specific cell types and tissues in a culture dish. This opens the way to investigation of fundamental molecular mechanisms in human cells and to the creation of models of human disease in a dish. These can then be used to test the action and effectiveness of new drugs”.

For further details about the facility contact: stemcells@dundee.ac.uk

 

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