Cell reprogramming: a new method for generating functional neurons

Project: Research

Research areas and keywords


  • Cell reprogramming, Brain regeneration


Research on direct neural conversion has shown that somatic cells can be directly reprogrammed into functional neurons, termed induced neurons (iNs). My group was the first to show direct conversion of human fibroblasts into subtype–specific neurons using defined sets of reprogramming factors. Since our finding was reported, several other teams have shown direct neural conversion into various subtypes of neurons, clearly establishing that iN technology can be applied to human fibroblasts, and that the resulting hiNs can be directed into functional neurons of defined subtypes. Thus, iNs are a novel type of cell resulting from remarkably rapid conversion of somatic cells into neurons. Importantly, they are non–proliferating, which makes them an interesting alternative to iPS cells as sources of patient specific neurons for exogenous cell replacement therapy and disease modeling.
More recently, work from the group I am working with, has also shown that it is possible to induce neurons from human astrocytes, that convert in vivo after transplantation, as well as to induce neurons from parenchymal astrocytes in situ. Following our study, several groups have shown the feasibility of this technique by converting residing astrocytes and NG2 brain cell populations into neurons.
This thesis will use the iN technology to efficiently generate neurons in vitro, that are functional and able to survive in vivo when transplantated, as well as to generate iNs from glial populations in situ, allowing for the study of these neurons' properties, ability to survive and generate subtype–specific neurons.
Short titlePhD thesis project
Effective start/end date2013/01/012017/11/10


Related research output

Torper, O., Daniella Rylander, Pereira, M. J. M., Lau, S., Cardoso, T., Shane Grealish & Malin Parmar, 2015, In : Cell Reports. 12, 3, p. 474-481

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pereira, M. J. M., Pfisterer, U., Daniella Rylander, Torper, O., Lau, S., Lundblad, M., Shane Grealish & Malin Parmar, 2014, In : Scientific Reports. 4, 6330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Torper, O., Pfisterer, U., Wolf, D., Pereira, M. J. M., Lau, S., Johan Jakobsson, Anders Björklund, Shane Grealish & Malin Parmar, 2013, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110, 17, p. 7038-7043

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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