Kristine Freude – University of Copenhagen

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Stem Cells - basic concepts, disease modeling and lasting therapies

Kristine Freude

Associate Professor & PhD

University of Copenhagen
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
Grønnegårdsvej 7
1870 Frederiksberg C

E-mail: kkf@sund.ku.dk
Telefon: (+45) 2557 2261

Kristine Freude received her PhD in 2005 with magna cum laude from the Free University and Max Planck Institute for molecular Genetics in Berlin Germany. Afterwards she moved to the US and worked until 2011 as a postdoc at the University of California at Irvine in the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Center, funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Since 2012, she has been appointed at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (DVAS), Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen and has been an Associate Professor at this institute since 2015.

Kristine Freude’s primary research interest is focused on the underlying molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases with emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Together with her students, she has created several patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) of familial forms of AD and FTD with known mutations in AD and FTD genes as well as isogenic controls and knock in lines through the means of gene editing via CRISPR-Cas9. These disease models in the dish have generated the basis for further investigations of molecular phenotypes and mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration and have pointed to possible links via common biological pathways of different forms of neurodegeneration. She and her collages have recently published a disease model for FTD3 with mutations in CHMP2B, which recapitulate the patient pathology in the dish but in addition revealed several other novel phenotypes, such as mitochondria dysfunction, increased intracellular iron and oxidative stress, all of which could be rescued in the gene edited isogenic controls.

Currently, she is specifically intrigued by findings of increased intracellular iron in FTD3 patients, which is present in several neurodegenerative diseases but is also part of normal ageing. Since intracellular iron accumulation has been strongly linked to sporadic forms of AD the alleviation of such intracellular iron burden via targeting of specific iron transporters and exporters could provide a novel angle for treatment of neurodegeneration.

Kristine Freude has previously been awarded a 3 year Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Stem Cell Training Program of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in 2006 and a 2 year Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Hjelth foundation (LUDC, Sweden) in 2012. She has authored 30 peer-reviewed international articles.