Research Assistant: Neurodegenerative DiseasesSemester Course

Research Assistant Neurodegenerative Diseases
Major Discipline(s)
Biology, Biomedicine / Biotechnology, Neuroscience
Elective Course
Fall/Spring semester

Kristine Freude’s laboratory focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, Glaucoma and epilepsy. Her groups work is centered on iPSC models of diseases and differentiation of such into neurons, astrocytes and microglia in mono, co-cultures and organoids. We are driven by finding commonalities in the underlying pathological pathways of divergent neurodegenerative diseases with the ultimate goal to identify novel targets for drug development.

Research Assistantship: Two 6-credit research assistantship projects are offered, with 1-2 students per project.

(1)   Differentiation of optic cups to study glaucoma. In this project, the student(s) will use techniques including iPSC culturing, 3D differentiation, Quantitative PCR, Immunocyochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. The principle mentor will be Kristine Freude, but the student(s) will also be partnered with a PhD student. As an exceptional opportunity, students with a medical background will have the opportunity to attend eye surgery. Surgeries are performed in close collaboration with Glostrup hospital and the Pharmacological institute.

(2)   Differentiation of iPSC into microglia. In this project, the student(s) will investigate iPSC from sporadic Alzheimer patients, which carry disease associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). The student will use techniques including iPCS culturing, microglia differentiation, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, flow cytometry analyses, quantitative PCR and immunocytochemistry. The student(s) will be co-mentored by Kristine Freude and a PhD student. This is a great opportunity for basic science-oriented students. The project will involve close collaboration with Bioneer A/S and Mathew Blurton-Jones at University California at Irvine, which may lead to future research opportunities in the US.

(3) Differentiation of iPSC into excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In this project, the student(s) will investigate iPSC from patients with rare epilepsy, which carry disease associated mutations in CACNA1A. The student will use techniques including iPCS culturing, neuronal differentiation, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and electrophysiological techniques to measure network activities in combination with drug screens. The student(s) will be co-mentored by Kristine Freude and a Postdoc. As an exceptional opportunity, students with a medical interest will have the opportunity to visit the Epilepsy Center at Dianalund.


  • Zhang, Y., Schmid, B., Nikolaisen, N.K., Rasmussen, M.A., Aldana, B.I., Agger, M., Calloe, K., Stummann, T.C., Larsen, H.M., Nielsen, T.T., Huang, J., Xu, F., Liu, X., Bolund, L., Meyer, M., Bak, L.K., Waagepetersen, H.S., Luo, Y., Nielsen, J.E., Consortium, F.R., Holst, B., Clausen, C., Hyttel, P., Freude, K.K., (2017) Patient iPSC-Derived Neurons for Disease Modeling of Frontotemporal Dementia with Mutation in CHMP2B. Stem Cell Reports8, 648-658.
  • Aldana, B.I., Zhang, Y., Lihme, M.F., Bak, L.K., Nielsen, J.E., Holst, B., Hyttel, P., Freude, K.K., Waagepetersen, H.S., (2017) Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons. Neurochem Int 106, 48-61
  • Zhou, S., Ochalek, A., Szczesna, K., Avci, H.X., Kobolak, J., Varga, E., Rasmussen, M., Holst, B., Cirera, S., Hyttel, P., Freude, K.K., Dinnyes, A., (2016a) The positional identity of iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells along the anterior-posterior axis is controlled in a dosage-dependent manner by bFGF and EGF. Differentiation92, 183-194.
  • Freude, K.K., Penjwini, M., Davis, J.L., LaFerla, F.M., Blurton-Jones, M., (2011) Soluble amyloid precursor protein induces rapid neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. J Biol Chem286, 24264-24274.
  • Kalscheuer, V.M., Freude, K., Musante, L., Jensen, L.R., Yntema, H.G., Gecz, J., Sefiani, A., Hoffmann, K., Moser, B., Haas, S., Gurok, U., Haesler, S., Aranda, B., Nshedjan, A., Tzschach, A., Hartmann, N., Roloff, T.C., Shoichet, S., Hagens, O., Tao, J., Van Bokhoven, H., Turner, G., Chelly, J., Moraine, C., Fryns, J.P., Nuber, U., Hoeltzenbein, M., Scharff, C., Scherthan, H., Lenzner, S., Hamel, B.C., Schweiger, S., Ropers, H.H., (2003) Mutations in the polyglutamine binding protein 1 gene cause X-linked mental retardation. Nat Genet35, 313-315.


Related Discipline(s)

This course would also be of interest to the following discipline(s):
Pre-Medicine / Health Science


Kristine Freude

DIS Copenhagen Semester Faculty

PhD at Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and Free University, Berlin, Germany in Human Genetics (2005). Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC Irvine, CA, USA (2005-2011) Postdoctoral Researcher (2012-2014) University Copenhagen. MSc at Robert Koch Institute and Free University, Berlin, Germany, in 2001 working with Mycobacteria.  Assistant Professor (2014-2015) University Copenhagen. Associate Professor (2015-present) University Copenhagen. With DIS since 2016.