The UNC-Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core is focused on providing UNC investigators as well as outside collaborators a platform to successfully conduct basic as well as translational research using human pluripotent stem cells such as human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). hES cell research provides the unprecedented opportunity to study the complex events that occur during the early human development while hiPS cells represent a unique and very important source of cells for individualized therapy and drug discovery.

The services that we offer include:
1. Maintenance and expansion of the undifferentiated hES cells for small scale experiments as well as genome-wide studies.
2. Generation of hiPS cells using the lentiviral delivery of the reprogramming factors as well as generation of integration-free hiPS cells using the episomal vectors.
3. Differentiation of hES cells and hiPS cells towards the ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm derivatives.
4. Transdifferentiation studies.

A major goal of the UNC-HPSC Core is to establish the technologies and to develop the foundation for a Stem Cell Regenerative Initiative. Using the episomal reprograming technology we will generate integration-free iPS cells from patients with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, blood vessel malformations and many others. These generated lines will represent the beginning for the establishment of a large repository of patient hiPS cells, an invaluable resource both for UNC investigators as well as other institutions.