Neuronal cell fate engineering
The discovery of human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has expanded the working modes in biology towards the reverse engineering of specific cell types. The use of human hiPSCs facilitates studying the genesis of human cell types in an ethically approved setting. We perform gene regulatory network analyses over time to reveal the molecular events that occur during “forward” programming (Busskamp et al. 2014, Kutsche et al. 2018, Ng et al. 2021). We want to induce transcription factors as differentiation control buttons to produce retinal neurons such as photoreceptors. These cells will be subjected for testing cell transplantation approaches to substitute for degenerated photoreceptors. This project is supported by the European Research Council (ERC) and technology transfer is ongoing.