Over the past few years, we have been working on an internationally collaborative project to identify a human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line that performs well across the board to underpin large-scale collaborative studies. Together we found one cell line, KOLF2.1J, that performs well across the board after we deeply analyzed its genetic background and stability, and its ability to be efficiently gene edited by CRISPR/Cas9 and differentiated into many different functional cell types. The cell line and its derivatives are now available with minimal restrictions and cost to the research community via a user-friendly website from the Jackson Laboratories (JAX). The substantial team effort was initiated by Michael Ward and Mark Cookson at the NIH who co-lead the iPSC neurodegenerative disease (INDI) consortium and Bill Skarnes at JAX whose team has developed highly efficient protocols for gene editing. A multitude of groups around the world generously contributed data to further characterise the performance of KOLF2.1J, and the project was made possible by the tireless efforts of Caroline Pantazis, Andrian Yang, Erika Lara, Justin McDonough, Cornelis Blauwendraat, Liong Peng, John Marioni, and many others. The KOLF2.1J cell line and its applications are beautifully described in accessible language developed with the help of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network who generously helping support these efforts that have the potential to broadly impact the stem cell and neuroscience fields.
We’re delighted that Simone Mazzaferro and Tian Tian have started in the lab! Simone is an experienced electrophysiologist who trained at Oxford Brookes and the Mayo Clinic, and will be studying neuronal responses to nutrients, hormones, and drugs relevant to metabolic disease. Tian has experience in developmental biology, electrophysiology, and optical recording of action potentials and is keen to broaden her skills to improve neuronal maturation and pursue forward programming to hypothalamic cell types of interest.