Multi-omics and iPSCs: Strategies for Uncovering Neurodegenerative Disease Mechanisms

Friday, February 2, 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
The FUNG Auditorium
Leslie Thompson

Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
School of Medicine

Neurobiology and Behavior
School of Biological Sciences

University of California, Irvine



Multi-omics and iPSCs: Strategies for Uncovering Neurodegenerative Disease Mechanisms


Leslie M. Thompson, PhD, is a Professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Neurobiology and Behavior and a member of UCI MIND, the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Center and the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.  Dr. Thompson has studied Huntington’s disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disease, for most of her scientific career and was a member of the international consortium that identified the causative gene for HD in 1993.  The Thompson laboratory now focuses on understanding mechanisms that underlie HD and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and how this understanding can assist in developing treatments for the disease, including using induced pluripotent stem cells to model disease symptoms in a dish and CIRM-funded preclinical studies to use stem cell-based transplantation approaches for HD.  The iPSC research ranges from approaches to reduce accumulation of the mutant protein to genomic and bioinformatics analysis of patient-derived neural cells.

Dr. Thompson received her bachelors of arts degree from UC San Diego and her PhD from UCI.  She continued at UCI for her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of John Wasmuth, where she began her collaborative studies on HD.  She joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at UCI in 2000.  Dr. Thompson is an AAAS Fellow, a member of the Hereditary Disease Foundation HD Cure Committee, Huntington Study Group Scientific Affairs Committee, and is founding Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Huntington’s Disease.  She is a principal investigator on the Answer ALS program, multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a recent multi-institution LINCS Center grant from NIH to define cell signatures for neurodegenerative disease, and on stem cell grants funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.