Human Pluripotent Stem Cell and Genome Engineering


The goal of the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell and Genome Engineering (HPSC) core is to facilitate and advance research in human disease and regenerative medicine using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) at Washington University.  This core combines the expertise of the Genome Engineering and iPSC Center (GEiC) and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Core (hESC) from the Departments of Genetics and Developmental Biology. The two WUSTL cores (GEiC and hESC) operate separately, but are combining efforts on this CDI core.

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have the potential to develop into all tissues of the body, thus offering great promise for therapeutic and regenerative medicine approaches to birth defects, injuries and degenerative diseases. Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) capture the genomic variation of individuals with the disorder and thereby enable modeling of congenital childhood diseases. These pluripotent cells combined with recent advances in genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas9 technology to modify these cells offers unprecedented opportunities for understanding developmental disabilities and other pediatric conditions. This newly developed capability for facile modification of the genome allows investigators to study the functional consequences of disease-associated genomic variants.  Its use in human pluripotent cells has the additional benefit in that the function of the variant can be studied in the target cell type as both iPSCs and hESCs can be coaxed into an ever-expanding variety of differentiated cell types. In addition, they can be differentiated into embryoid bodies to enable mechanistic studies underlying human embryogenesis.

The CDI award will support:

  • Subsidies for usage of GEiC and hESC services for current CDI grants
  • Educational and training activities 
  • Pilot grant program (up to $7,500) to support preliminary studies on hPSC for potential CDI projects (open to all investigators, details below).

The services provided by the CDI HPSC Core are summarized below. Please also visit the GEiC website at and the hESC website at for additional information and services offered.

CDI HPSC Core Services

WUSTL GEiC Services

  •  Isolation and banking of somatic cells (fibroblasts and renal epithelial cells) from patient samples
  • Generation and characterization of patient-derived iPSCs
  • Banking of hESC/iPSC lines
  • Genome editing to correct genetic defects and/or to study functions of human genes
  • Genome editing of other cells
  • Genome editing to create disease models using mice and other organisms
  • Development of differentiation protocols for selected cell types for disease modeling (in collaboration)

WUSTL heSC Services

  • Training in hES culture methods and differentiation into embryoid bodies and specific cell types
  • Access to tissue culture facilities and equipment for hPSC studies

To obtain pricing and for additional information on services offered by the GEiC Core please email Xiaoxia Cui at and for the hESC Core, please email Mariana Beltcheva at

CDI PIs may request to use the subsidy by submitting the attached HPSC-CDI Project Approval Form.  The process for requesting approval has been outlined in the HPSC- CDI Project Approval Process document.

The CDI HPSC Core will provide a 50% subsidy for current CDI awards on all services offered by the University's GEiC & heSC cores, including genome editing of iPSCs, hESCs, other cells and organisms. Each CDI award is subject to a $7,500 cap per grant year for subsidy of core services. Approved services must be utilized by the PI's grant end date for which the services were approved. CDI-funded postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to receive the subsidy nor are PIs of Educational Initiatives. All CDI subsidy requests must include a brief description of how the GEiC/hESC services requested will benefit the approved scope of work on the funded CDI grant. 

Pilot Grant Program Yr 3

As a part of the CDI HPSC Core, the CRM offer pilot awards in the area of hPSCs. Awards up to the amount of $7,500 each have been awarded and serve as 50% subsidies at the hESC Core or GEiC. The pilot awards are open to both CDI and non-CDI members and require a one-page proposal. Projects must support the mission of the CDI. The current pilot award application deadline is June 5, 2017.  

Forms & Information

*CDI-funded postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to receive the subsidy nor are PIs of Educational Initiatives.  Requests for the subsidy should benefit the investigators' CDI-funded work.

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