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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), generated by transcription factor-dependent nuclear reprogramming of differentiated somatic cells, are pluripotent stem cell lines that can be propagated indefinitely in culture and maintain the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body. As iPS cells retain the same genetic make-up as the somatic cell targeted for reprogramming, these cells hold tremendous promise for uncovering novel genetic and biochemical factors that underlie diseases with complex and poorly understood genetic influences, such as diabetes. The newly established iPS Core maintains a centralized facility for the reliable and consistent generation and propagation of reprogrammed iPS cells for use in cutting-edge research into the molecular and cellular pathologies underlying diabetes and its complications.

Services Offered:

1. Experimental design and IRB documentation. New and existing DRC investigators who wish to employ iPS cells in their experiments should begin by contacting the iPS Core for consultation.  An initial meeting will be scheduled involving the Core Director, Associate Directors, the Core’s Clinical Research Nurse and the investigator, in which the aims, experimental design, approach, and requirements for human subjects research are discussed.

2. Patients.  Assistance in identifying patients who fit study criteria for the specific aims of the investigators using the Core from among Joslin’s patient population and through local advertising (flyers in Joslin public areas, web-postings, etc.) using IRB-approved postings. 

3. Skin-punch biopsy. Skin punch biopsies will be obtained under informed consent for reprogramming studies.  Punch biopsy will be performed in Joslin’s Clinical laboratory (located on the 3rd floor of the Joslin Diabetes Center), by trained medical staff.

4. Fibroblast culture, expansion and storage.  Fibroblasts will be cultured from human skin biopsies under standard conditions.

5. Reprogramming. Human iPSC lines will be generated under a fee-for-service contract with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s iPS Reprogramming Laboratory.

6. Validation and quality control of reprogrammed iPS lines

7. Expansion, storage and distribution of iPS cells

8. Isolation of DNA, RNA or protein purified from iPS lines.

9. Training in iPS cell culture and subsequent use of core facilities for self run studies.

For questions about the iPS Core and its services, please contact Amy Wagers:

Core Personnel

Amy Wagers, Core Director

Allison Goldfine, Associate Director

Rohit Kulkarni, Associate Director

Kathy Foster, Clinical Research Nurse

Rebecca Windemueller, Laboratory Research Assistant