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Human Neural Development


Our research

The human brain is a highly complex structure, consisting of hundreds of different subtypes of neural cells; each of which fulfil a specific function in the brain network. When some of these neurons are lost – such as in neurodegenerative diseases – our brains become malfunctioning. The goal of our research is to develop stem cell-based neural cell therapies to replace lost neurons as a treatment for brain diseases. In particular, we focus as a main project on the development of a pluripotent stem cell product for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

In the Kirkeby lab, we further apply advanced human stem cells models and single cell RNA sequencing to understand how the hundreds of human neural subtypes of cells are formed during embryo development. With this knowledge at hand, we become better at controlling the differentiation of human pluripotent cells to subtype-specific neurons which can be used for disease modelling, drug screening and transplantation, leading to new treatments for several types of brain disorders.



  • To study human brain development using stem cell models
  • To develop subtype-specific human neurons for regenerative therapy and disease modelling
  • To enter clinical trial with a stem cell product for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease



With our research, we aim to develop novel, lasting therapies for neurodegenerative diseases through replacement of lost neurons in the brain with new neurons generated from stem cells. This has the potential to provide to through brain repair make patients independent of daily medications with severe side effects.


(name linked to profile in Lund University research portal)

Agnete Kirkeby

Principal Investigator, Agnete [dot] Kirkeby [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Agnete[dot]Kirkeby[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Petter Storm

Scientist, petter [dot] storm [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Petter[dot]Storm[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Yu Zhang

Postdoc, yu [dot] zhang [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Yu[dot]Zhang[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Marc Isaksson

PhD student, marc [dot] isaksson [at] bme [dot] lth [dot] se (Marc[dot]Isaksson[at]bme[dot]lth[dot]se)

Alrik Schörling

Research Assistant, alrik [dot] schorling [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Alrik[dot]Schorling[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)


Principal Investigator Agnete Kirkeby

Principal Investigator

WCMM Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine

Phone: +4551685353

Mail: Agnete [dot] Kirkeby [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Agnete[dot]Kirkeby[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Profile in Lund University research profile


  • Wallenberg Fellow (KAW)
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation, Hallas Møller Emerging Investigator (NNF)
  • EU H2020 Consortium
  • Lundbeckfonden


  • Lund Stem Cell Center
  • StemTherapy
  • Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine (WCMM)
  • MultiPark
  • University of Copenhagen, Department of Neuroscience