Collaborative research funded by the state of Bavaria

The Bavarian Research Network ForIPS has the major and long-term goal to establish human cellular disease models and novel intervention strategies for sporadic and chronic disorders of the brain with the current focus on sporadic Parkinson’s disease. The first task of the ForIPS consortium is to establish a biobank for human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS) of Parkinson’s disease patients and healthy controls at the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen including the implementation important quality controls in terms of genomic and transcriptional stability as well as the development of non-integrating reprogramming strategies. Reprogramming of mature cells of the body into so called “induced pluripotent stem cells” represents one of the most innovative biomedical developments in recent years (Nobel Prize in Medicine, 2012). Using this technology, connective tissue cells of patients are obtained and reprogrammed to the stage of pluripotency. As a result, patient specific stem cells are generated and in the framework of ForIPS further differentiated to neurons. Using this technology, ForIPS is able to generate IPS-derived neurons from affected patients. These cells may serve as a cellular model for the analysis of individual disease mechanisms, in particular with regard to the individually underlying pathogenesis of the patient, thus enabling the development of new treatment strategies.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Winkler, Division of Molecular Neurology

Research report ForIPS