iPS Core Facility

Tak Ko, Research Scientist, iPS Core Facility Supervisor
Photo: Najat Kessler

With the support of an anonymous donor and under the leadership of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, the iPS Core Facility was constructed in the Fall of 2010.

The advent of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has heralded a new generation of clinical and basic research into human disorders. Patient derived-skin fibroblast cells are reprogrammed into iPS cells, and allow researchers to directly examine a wide variety of diseases directly in human cells. iPS cells also have remarkable therapeutic potential, as they can be differentiated into multiple cell types, including neurons, and can be transplanted back into the donor without the risk of an immune response. Cells derived from patients can also be used to screen novel therapeutic compounds, and, as these cells reflect the genetic profiles of their donors, can be used to study the mechanisms of multiple neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

The creation of a common iPS facility in the BCS complex will provide a powerful incentive for different labs to collaborate together and exchange ideas. This common facility will integrate the various research goals of members of the Picower and McGovern Institutes, and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. The various BCS, McGovern and Picower laboratories have expertise and experience with different experimental protocols which, when combined in a collaborative manner to the study of human cells, will result in accelerated progress in this novel, dynamic and competitive field. This exciting resource will soon be available to MIT researchers.