Laurent Roybon, PhD

Associate Professor in Neurobiology, Group leader of the Stem Cell Laboratory for CNS disease modeling

Department of experimental Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

I. The research group.

Research in the laboratory attempts to define pathogenic cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in synucleiopathies, in particular Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy, and Alzheimer's disease. To this aim, we generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from patients, which we utilize to understand cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous processes that lead to neuronal damage.

By generating iPSCs from patients suffering familial and idiopathic forms of the diseases, we aim to elucidate causative mechanisms leading to neural cell dysfunction, and neurodegeneration.

Our cutting-edge approach will allow for the identification of new molecular targets, which could be used for the development of new diagnostic tools for early diagnosis, as well as for the stratification and recruitment of patients for future clinical trials.

II. Participation in the MADGIC project.

Our task in the JPND MADGIC project is to participate in generation of human neural stem cells through iPSCs and direct conversion of somatic cells, from fAD and sAD patients and healthy controls. This includes generation, labeling and purifying disease relevant neural subtypes from fAD and sAD patients and healthy controls and generation of humanized chimeric mouse models of AD.

Next we will contribute to the set-up a platform to uncover cell and non-cell autonomous mechanisms of AD, in vitro, particularly to determine astrocyte and microglia phenotypes and their contribution to AD- linked neuronal phenotype in fAD and sAD, role of inflammation and oligodendrocyte pathology in AD.

CNS cell changes in humanized models with variable genetic background and modulation by environmental stressors and behavioral analysis in humanized female and male chimeric mice will be studied.

III. Key publications relevant for the project.

1. Staffan Holmqvist, Šárka Lehtonen, Margarita Chumarina, Katja A Puttonen, Carla Azevedo, Olga Lebedeva, Marika Ruponen, Minna Oksanen, Mehdi Djelloul, Anna Collin, Stefano Goldwurm, Morten Meyer, Maria Lagarkova, Sergei Kiselev, Jari Koistinaho & Laurent Roybon. Creation of a library of induced pluripotent stem cells from Parkinsonian patients. npj Parkinson's Disease 2, Article number: 16009 (2016)