iPSC Project

Developing brain cells can be studied by growing them in a dish. We can identify what types of cells are growing by staining them for traits of the cells called cell markers. In this picture, immature brain cells (yellow) become young neurons (magenta) and develop processes (red) that allows the cells to communicate with each other. Cells stained blue are other cell types.

About the Project

Your IBIS School Age visit includes a project that will use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to study early brain development of individuals that previously participated in IBIS. iPS cells will be derived from a standard blood draw, and through a remarkable Nobel prize-winning technology, can be changed into a special type of cell, a pluripotent cell, that has the ability to change into almost any other cell in the body. These cells can then be induced to form brain cells that resemble those found in the brain as it develops, prior to birth. This will allow us to study how alterations in pre-natal development lead to changes in the structure of the brain and lead to risk for developmental disorders.

How to participate

When your family returns for your child’s visit at school age, we will be requesting that your child has 5-10 mL of blood drawn by a trained specialist as a component of your visit. If your family has already returned for your school-age visit, we will mail a blood collection kit to your family. The kit can be taken to your local physician’s office and it will include instructions for both yourself and your physician. The kits will include instructions for having the blood sample mailed to us overnight at no cost to your family. The compensation for completing the blood draw either during your visit or by a mailed kit will be $50. Please contact us with any questions you may have about this portion of the study.

Contact Us

UNC Chapel Hill
Meghan Vanasek
(919) 843-1331

University of Washington
Nicole Simard
(206) 543-2125

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Raquel Serruya
(267) 425-1727

Washington University
Lisa Flake
(888) 845-6786

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