Stefano Frausin

PhD Student at The Florey Institute
Recipient of scholarship
Motor neurons are neurons located in the central nervous system that control the contraction of muscles through complex neuronal circuitry. Motor neuron diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, progressively destroy motor neurons causing paralysis and successively death due to respiratory failure. Recently, cell replacement therapy using MNs derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) has been proposed as treatment for replacing the lost cells and/or protecting the host cells. The aims of this project are to derive and characterize spinal MNs from hPSCs in vitro and to evaluate the capacity of these cells to survive and functionally integrate after their transplantation in rat spinal cord.