Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Stem Cell & Regenerative Neuroscience Center

With the 2012 Nobel-prize winning discovery that each person’s cells (eg skin or blood) can be used to produce stem cells, coined Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, it is now possible to study diseases and test therapies not only in animal models or human cell lines but in an individual patient’s cells. The Jefferson Stem Cell and Regenerative Neuroscience Center (JSCRNC) was launched in 2015 with a generous donation from the Strauss Foundation to advance the current understanding and use of stem cells in the study and treatment of neurologic diseases. Advancing iPS cell capacity at Jefferson through the JSCRNC is enabling our scientists to better understand and treat neurodegenerative diseases that have previously lacked appropriate models and patient-specific therapies.

Mission & Visions

Robert Perry Strass Center

(L-R) Robert Rosenwasser, MD; Loraine Iacovitti, PhD;
A.M. Rostami, MD, PhD; Irwin Levitan, MD;
Michael Vergare, MD; Stephen Klasko, MD,
and; Kimberly Strauss.

Our mission is to serve as a core resource to Thomas Jefferson University researchers and clinicians seeking to utilize stem cell technology to model diseases in-the-dish, high throughput testing, and personalized therapeutics in the clinic.

Our vision is that patient-specific disease modeling with iPS cells will enable researchers and clinicians to study disease mechanisms and “personalize” the way we treat neurodegenerative diseases.

We Strive to:

  • Provide iPS cell capability at Thomas Jefferson University and in the wider Philadelphia academic community.
  • Create a human neurological/neurodegenerative disease iPS cell repository to increase access to stem cell lines for all researchers and accelerate the pace of translational stem cell research.
  • Propagate patient-derived iPS cell lines and develop protocols to differentiate stem cells into cell types relevant for laboratory study and clinical therapeutics.
  • Educate researchers through pre-recorded videos and one-on-one training to allow researchers to differentiate stem cells in their own laboratories.



Dr. Lorraine Iacovitti is a full Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Neurology and Neurological Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University. In late 2015, she was named the Director of the Jefferson Stem Cell and Regenerative Neuroscience Center in the Farber Institute to expand Jefferson’s ability to study neurodegenerative disease using patient-derived stem cells and develop personalized pharmaceutical, genetic and cell-based treatments.