The research of Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, aims to understand normal and abnormal development of the human brain and to devise novel and effective therapies for neurological conditions. His group has successfully developed strategies for efficient differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to neuroepithelial cells and neuronal types of the forebrain (cerebral glutamate neurons, striatal GABA neurons, basal forebrain cholinergic neurons), midbrain (dopamine) and spinal cord (motor) neurons, as well as regional specific astrocyte types and oligodendrocytes.
Dr. Zhang’s laboratory developed tools to genetically target hESCs and iPSCs, built versatile transgenic human stem cell lines, and created isogenic pairs of hPSC lines by CRISPR for many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Zhang established the first human iPSC/Genome Editing Core Facility at the Waisman Center in 2009. The core provides services to the campus and beyond, including generation of iPSCs from patients and genome editing of iPSCs.