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5 Days of Stem Cells
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Thomas Durcan

MNI, McGill University

As an assistant professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute (The Neuro) and McGill University, my research focus is on applying patient-derived stem cells towards the development of phenotypic discovery assays and 3D neuronal organoid models for both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. As associate director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU) at The Neuro, I oversee a team of 40+ research staff and students, committed to applying novel stem cell technology, combined with CRISPR genome editing, organoid models and new microfluidic technologies towards elucidating the underlying causes of these complex disorders. Combined with new approaches in the group towards building multiomic profiles and predictive computational models with patient-derived IPSC cells, the long term strategy over the next decade is to identify new personalized precision therapies that can be applied towards building clinical trials on a dish. Further information on the EDDU can be found on our website https://www.mcgill.ca/neuro/open-science/open-science-platforms/eddu 


Modelling disorders of the brain through patient-derived stem cells

Abstract

My research focus is on applying patient-derived stem cells towards the development of phenotypic discovery assays and 3D mini-brain models for both neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. As associate director of the Early Drug Discovery Unit (EDDU) at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), I oversee a team of over 35 research staff and students, committed to applying novel stem cell technology, combined with CRISPR genome editing, mini-brain models and new microfluidic technologies towards elucidating the underlying causes of these complex disorders. Combined with new approaches in the group towards building MultiOmics profiles on the patient-derived IPSC cells, the long-term strategy is to identify new personalized precision therapies that can be applied towards building clinical trials on a dish. For my talk, I will discuss our 3D drug discovery pipeline, in which we focus on translating findings from 2D neurons, into 3D brain organoids, and ultimately into lead compounds. I will present work on how we generate these cells, the quality control process and also some of the new technologies we are developing in the group for working with 3D neuronal organoids