The SIG Beat: New SIGS
NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC INTEREST GROUPS
New SIG: iPSC-Neuroscience Scientific Interest Group
Diseases involving the brain that adversely affect cognition, intellectual ability, behavior, mood, memory, perception of reality, and social functioning are exceedingly complex and have no known uniformly effective preventive and therapeutic strategies.
Together, such diseases represent a substantial component of the global burden of disease and thus exert a hefty liability on health care. This broad and diverse group of human ailments include neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression.
Advances in genomics have led to a better understanding of the genetics of these diseases, but the critical neurobiological mechanisms involved in pathogenesis remain to be fully defined. Because access to living human brain cells for studies is not feasible, researchers have used model systems that can recapitulate some aspects of the disorder. One such model is represented by induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and derivatives, which are renewable cells that carry the full genetic complement of the donor (patient or nonpatient).
Cells grown in a 2D format, as 3D brain organoids, or more recently, as assembloids, are extensively used to dissect the biology underlying genetics, potentially generating new targets for drug discovery, and developing methods for cell therapy.
More than a decade ago laboratories in NIH’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) started to pursue iPSC-based research, several of which were focused on diseases involving abnormalities of brain function. The number of labs engaged in iPSC-based neuroscience research, which encompasses multiple and diverse diseases in the NIH IRP, has since grown steadily over the years.
The iPSC-Neuroscience Scientific Interest Group was formed in 2022 with the following goals:
- To discuss the many existing and continuing challenges involved in iPSC research and propose approaches and solutions to these challenges
- To invite NIH IRP researchers to present their iPSC-neuroscience related work
- To invite investigators who pursue iPSC-based neuroscience research from various universities and institutions here in the United States and abroad to present their work and recent findings
- To mentor graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the NIH IRP in the iPSC-Neuroscience field
- To hold in-person meetings at least once a year, as permitted
Since monthly meetings began in May 2022, the SIG has hosted a diverse list of speakers who have shared their work on iPSC-related topics in multiple neuroscience-related fields.
Meetings usually occur virtually every first Thursday of the month at 12 noon from September to June. Several speakers have already committed to present and explain their iPSC-based work at meetings through June 2024.
For more information, go to https://oir.nih.gov/sigs/ipsc-neuroscience-scientific-interest-group or contact Sevilla Detera-Wadleigh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Francis McMahon (email@example.com).
This page was last updated on Tuesday, October 31, 2023