Project Summary

Down syndrome iPSC derived neurons

A neural crest defect could explain many of the pathologies associated with Down syndrome (DS), such as craniofacial defects, tooth abnormalities, cardiac cushion defects and hirshprung disease. Gene expression analysis of  DS iPSC derived neural cell types reveals gene expression differences that are consistent with this hypothesis. Neural tube formation and neural crest behavior can be readily modeled with iPSC in vitro and neural crest migration can be readily modeled in vitro in microdevices and in vivo transplant experiments in the chick.  In this project we aim to perform genome editing of chromosome 21 in DS iPSC and use overexpression approaches in euploid cells to elucidate the gene regulatory networks that govern altered neural crest behavior. This project will further involve the development of SOX10 reporter iPSCs to allow neural crest cell purification. Connecting DS disease phenotypes with altered neural crest behavior may allow early developmental intervention and improvement of health outcomes for people with DS.


Research Group

Wolvetang Group


Cell and Tissue Engineering, Health, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Stem Cell, Down syndrome, neural crest

Student projects

Gene regulatory networks in neural crest in Down syndrome

Project members

Lead Investigator

Professor Ernst Wolvetang

Senior Group Leader
Wolvetang Group
UQ-StemCARE Director

Researchers Involved

Anushree Balachandran

PhD Student
Wolvetang Group

Dmitry Ovchinnikov

Research Fellow
Wolvetang Group