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Human Neuron Differentiation Service Core (HNDS) at Boston Children’s Hospital

Director: Kleiman, Robin, Ph.D.; Sahin, Mustafa, M.D., Ph.D.

Location: 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston Children’s Hospital, CLS BLDG #14066, Boston, MA 02115

Core Summary:

The Human Neuron Differentiation Service (HNDS) is one component of the Human Neuron Core, comprised of the HNDS and the Assay Development and Screening Facility (ADSF), that will exploit transformative stem cell technology for both modeling of specific diseases and screening of test compounds in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The goals of this service are to: (1) develop standard operating procedures for the generation of different types of neuronal cell lines; (2) create neuronal cell lines from iPSCs derived from patients with specific diseases and from healthy controls; (3) compare key characteristics (e.g. shape, growth, synaptic connectivity, protein composition) of patient-derived and control-derived neurons; (4) identify disease-specific characteristics in patient-derived neurons; (5) screen drug candidates in disease-specific cell lines to greatly increase the speed and specificity of drug discovery; and (6) compare results of these “pre-clinical” drug trials with clinical trials in patients.

We provide reproducible quality-controlled preparations of neurons that release preclinical research lab personnel from labor required for neuron production to focus on the execution of cutting edge research. The core can receive iPSC lines under IRB approval from patients characterized by clinicians in other Massachusetts hospitals. The phenotyping service will be of particular value to clinical investigators who work closely with patients, but may lack basic science skill sets needed to establish iPSC lines, derive specific neurons from these and conduct sophisticated phenotypic analysis.

  • Boston Children's Hospital
Personnel/Contact Information:

Director: Kleiman, Robin, Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 919-6303

Director: Sahin, Mustafa, M.D., Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 919-4518

Member: Han, Min-Joon, Ph.D.
Role: HNDS Manager
Phone: (617) 919-4374

Member: Micozzi, John
Role: Research Assistant, Human Neuron Differentiation Service

Member: General Inquiries
Phone: (617) 919-4374

Facilities and Equipment:

Location of Core: 3 Blackfan Circle, Boston Children’s Hospital, CLS BLDG #14066, Boston, MA 02115

Major Equipment:

  • Biosafety cell culture Hood
  • CO2 incubators
  • Dissection microscope
  • EVOS Fluorescence microscope
  • Inverted microscope
  • Liquid Nitrogen storage
  • Differentiation of human iPSC lines into specialized neuronal cell types to support research programs

  • Fibroblast preparation from patient (skin biopsy) sample

  • Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) preparation from patient blood sample

  • Phenotypic characterization of patient-derived neurons (qPCR, western blotting, immunostaining etc.)

  • Preparation of human neurons to support drug screening, in partnership with the Human Neuron Core’s Assay Development and Screening Facility (ADSF) at Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Reprogramming of patient samples (fibroblast/PBMC) to iPSC lines

Departmental Web Link(s):

Last updated: 2015-10-01T11:44:43.828-05:00