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Using stem cell technology to combat age-related neurodegenerative diseases

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We use stem cell technology to create authentic central nervous system cells valuable to combat neurodegenerative diseases. We have discovered a novel stem cell in the adult human retina that we are harnessing for cell replacement therapy in patients with age-related macular degeneration. In addition, we use cerebral organoids to study how cells change in tauopathy. Tauopathies are associated with synapse loss, neuronal and glial cell death, tau aggregation, and tau hyperphosphorylation, but which pathways lead to these neurodegenerative events are not fully resolved. Working with the Tau Consortium, we have helped establish an extensive collection of iPSC lines and isogenic controls. In a collaborative team, we have examined tau proteaforms, isoforms, turnover, histology, as well as transcriptomic changes, and revealed a timecourse of phenotypic alterations associated with tauopathy.

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