Research Assistant: Neurodegenerative DiseasesSemester Course

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

Kristine Freude’s laboratory focuses on modeling neurodegenerative diseases such as Frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and glaucoma, using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from patients and CRISPR-Cas9 gene edited iPSC controls. Besides modeling neural cell type-specific disease pathologies, Kristine’s lab also seeks to understand overlapping dysfunctions amongst different types of dementia. The lab focuses on a comprehensive understanding of molecular commonalities to provide, potentially, opportunities for novel interventions that are beneficial for an array of related diseases, facilitating cost-effective drug development.

Two Distinct Research Projects Offered Within this Lab

  1. Differentiation of optic cups to study glaucoma. In this project, you use techniques including iPSC culturing, 3D differentiation, Quantitative PCR, Immunocyochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The principal mentor will be Kristine Freude, but you also partner with a lab technician. As an exceptional opportunity, students with a medical background 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, you investigate iPSC from sporadic Alzheimer patients, which carry disease associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). You use techniques including iPCS culturing, microglia differentiation, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, flow cytometry analyses, quantitative PCR and immunocytochemistry. You will be co-mentored by Kristine Freude and a Ph.D. student. This is a great opportunity for basic science-oriented students. The project involves close collaboration with Bioneer A/S and Mathew Blurton-Jones at University California at Irvine, which may lead to future research opportunities in the U.S.


  • 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 Reports 8, 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. Differentiation 92, 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 Chem 286, 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 Genet 35, 313-315.



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.