ALS Disease Modelling With Patient-Derived iPSC - An Interview With Dr. Alessandro Rosa, University of Rome

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Cell health in routine culture is key to successful downstream applications: “At the beginning of the differentiation the cells must be healthy, if you have a lot of cell death in your cultures, the differentiation will start on the wrong foot.” – Dr. Rosa

In this interview, Dr. Alessandro Rosa offers insight and tips for working with high cell quality standards for expansion and differentiation of iPSC to fates such as motor neurons and skeletal muscle. He shares crucial points to consider when adapting differentiation protocols, and differences to expect when switching maintenance media, including how culture conditions impact downstream result.

Housed at the Sapienza University, downtown Rome’s time-honored streets, Dr. Rosa focuses on understanding the mechanisms of gene mutations and RNA function in neurodegenerative diseases, notably Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). For this, optimizing replicable and robust differentiation protocols for patient-specific iPSC is essential.

Dr. Rosa gained his expertise with iPSC and hESC at the Brivanlou lab working at the Rockefeller Institute in New York. There, he directed the Stem Cell Derivation Core, a platform responsible for isolating, characterizing and maintaining hESC for the Tri-Stem Cell Initiative, to researchers from the Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical Center and Rockefeller University.

During his time at the Brivanlou lab, Dr. Rosa started with NutriStem® hPSC XF Medium, for maintenance of hESC and iPSC lines. Back in Rome, he established patient-derived iPSC lines affirming: Nutristem® gave consistence results over the years. It’s now six or seven years that we routinely use the NutriStem® in our lab and we never had the need to change this culture media.

Cell health is a recurring topic in research when assessing stem cell quality for use in both research or clinical application and is strongly linked with culture conditions.


About Dr. Alessandro Rosa:

Dr. Rosa is a group leader at the Sapienza University downtown Rome, Dr. Rosa focuses on understanding the mechanisms of gene mutations and RNA function in neurodegenerative diseases, notably Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He has extensive knowledge in the derivation of patient-specific iPSC neuronal cells, by optimizing replicable and robust differentiation protocols to fates such as motor neurons and skeletal muscle.

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