Master’s thesis project in: Disease modelling of monogenic forms of diabetes using induced pluripotent stem cells

Understanding the underlying causes of diabetes have proven challenging given the lack of
suitable disease models and inaccessibility to the affected cell types from patients. Human
induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) can be derived from both healthy individuals as well as patients suffering from a wide range of diseases including diabetes. iPS cells derived from diabetic patients contain the genetic component(s) of the disease and also holds the capacity to differentiate into the disease-causing tissues such as the pancreatic beta cells. Thus, iPS cells offer a novel tool for the generation of new in vitro disease models and can potentially be used to study the development and progression of various forms of diabetes.

Development of a novel in vitro disease model using iPS cells derived from monogenic diabetic patients.
Part1: Carry out characterization assays of iPS cells from monogenic diabetic patients and from healthy controls.
Part2: Differentiate the iPS cells from the patients and from the controls towards a beta-cell stage and perform phenotypic characterizations of the cells at different time points.
-Cell culture of the different iPS cell lines (involves maintenance of the cell lines as well as
differentiation experiments)
-Immunohistochemistry of pluripotency markers and of mature beta cell markers
-Quantitative PCR
-Flow cytometry of fixed cells to characterize differentiation efficiency

You have a biomedical or life science background. You have experience with cell culture and biochemical and molecular biology techniques. You are ambitious, positive, a team player and enjoy taking initiative with a high degree of commitment. Project length is 12 months, starting summer/fall 2015. If you are interested, please send a brief letter of motivation and resume using the contact information below.

The project will be part of an ongoing project in the Semb group at DanStem, and will therefore be carried out in close collaboration with a PhD student.

Main supervisor: Professor Henrik Semb
Direct supervisor: PhD student Maya Friis Kjærgaard
Application deadline: ASAP, but latest January 15th 2016
Project start: ASAP
Project duration: 1 year, but this can be discussed

Contact information:
Maya Friis Kjærgaard/ Telephone number: 23404335/ email: mfk@sund.ku.dk