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International 3Rs Prize now open for applications. £30k prize (£2k personal award) for outstanding science with demonstrable 3Rs impacts.

NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Establishment of a cryo-bank of lineage-committed neural progenitor cells produced from engineered human pluripotent stem cells

Members of Professor Tilo Kunath's laboratory

At a glance

In progress
Award date
February 2023 - February 2025
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Professor Tilo Kunath
University of Edinburgh


  • Replacement
Read the abstract
View the grant profile on GtR



Why did we fund this project?

This award aims to establish a human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neural progenitor cell bank enabling non-stem cell specialist researchers to take up the method and replace the use of in vivo models in neuroscience research.

There are a number of barriers to the uptake of iPSC technology, including the expense, time and expertise needed to establish stem cell culture and differentiation within a laboratory, which can limit the replacement potential of this method. Professor Tilo Kunath has developed a protocol to differentiate iPSCs along neural cell lineage pathways and freeze them in a progenitor cell state. This commits the cells to producing a specific cell type upon thawing without the need for collaborating research groups to have specialist stem cell expertise. Tilo and colleagues will now create the “Edinburgh Progenitor Cell Bank”, a quality-controlled bank of frozen progenitor cells to distribute to neuroscience researchers in academia and industry.

This award was made as part of the BBSRC/NC3Rs joint call for the development of next generation non-animal technologies (NATs).