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Braingineering's human midbrain organoids as novel model for neurodegenerative diseases

Speaker
  • Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Braingineering Technologies SARL
    Biography
      Since 2013 Jens C. Schwamborn, PhD, is head of the Developmental and Cellular Biology group at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) as well as Professor at the University of Luxembourg. Additionally, since 2016 Jens is Chief Scientific Officer of the biotech company Braingineering Technologies.
      In 2002 Jens obtained is diploma in Biochemistry from the University Witten/Herdecke in Germany and in 2005 his PhD in Biology from the University Muenster in Germany. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna / Austria. The focus of his work over the last years was on Neurobiology, Stem Cell research and Parkinson's disease. In particular he is interested in using human induced pluripotent stem cells for the development of advanced approaches for in vitro disease modeling. Jens published more than 50 papers in peer reviewed journals, holds several patents and severs as reviewer for numerous journals and funding agencies.

    Abstract

    Research on human brain development and neurological diseases is limited by the lack of advanced experimental in vitro models that truly recapitulate the complexity of the human brain. Here, we describe a robust human brain organoid system that is highly specific to the midbrain derived from regionally patterned neuroepithelial stem cells. These human midbrain organoids contain spatially organized groups of dopaminergic neurons, which make them an attractive model for the study of Parkinson’s disease. Midbrain organoids are characterized in detail for neuronal, astroglial, and oligodendrocyte differentiation. Furthermore, we show the presence of synaptic connections and electrophysiological activity. The complexity of this model is further highlighted by the myelination of neurites. The present midbrain organoid system has the potential to be used for advanced in vitro disease modeling and therapy development.


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