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Rutgers establishes stem cell repository for the study of mental health disorders
Date:10/21/2011

re similar to embryonic stem cells, but which do not require embryonic material for their establishment. iPS cells originate from adult body cells that are reprogrammed in the laboratory by inserting foreign genes into the cell, enabling it to become any type of cell in the body. The new stem cells could provide scientists with the necessary clues they need to determine the causes of mental disorder and develop effective drugs to combat them.

"It is amazing that we can take a tiny piece of skin from a person with a particular disease, comprised of cells that were thought of as recently as several years ago as being in a terminal state of differentiation, and turn back the clock to induce those cells to become stem cells that have the potential to become a neuron, or a heart cell, or any of a number of cell types," said Michael Sheldon, assistant research professor in the Department of Genetics and the project's co-director.

The collaboration between Rutgers and the National Institute of Mental Health will provide researchers throughout the world studying causes of mental health and other diseases with iPS cells derived from people with anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, to better understand how these diseases originate and progress.

The RUCDR is the largest repository in the world and provides DNA, RNA and cell lines to hundreds of research laboratories across the globe studying mental health disorders and drug and alcohol abuse as well as the causes of digestive, liver, and kidney disease, and diabetes.


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Contact: Robin Lally
rlally@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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