Professor of Stem Cells, Developmental Biology, and Technology for Innovative Drug Research
Prof. Dr. Micha Drukker is a professor of Stem Cell Biology, Models and Regenerative medicine at the Division of Drug Discovery & Safety.
Micha Drukker earned his PhD at the Hebrew University before becoming a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University Medical School in the lab of Irving Weissman. He became and received tenure as a group leader and head of the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell core facility at the Helmholtz Center in Munich in 2012 and 2018. Micha became a full professor at 2020 in Leiden University within the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR). Micha’s interest lies in discovering mechanisms that regulate the formation of the embryonic tissues using iPS cells, in order to create novel models for human disease and drug development with emphasis on neurodegeneration. This line of research is also directly connected to using the stem cells themselves as innovative “living stem cell drugs”. The lab focuses on multifaceted regulation by transcription and epigenetic factors, lncRNAs, membraneless organelles, mechanisms of self-renewal, and extensively uses organoid technology, single cell RNA sequencing, flow cytometry, and CRISPR-Cas9 genetic engineering approaches. Micha’s lab collaborates closely within the science faculty on stem cell organoid models for drug research, toxicity, replacement of animal models, and with the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) on stem cell immunology and manufacturing (GMP) of iPSCs for clinical purposes. Moreover, the lab is banking stem cells from exotic and endangered species of animals for evo-devo projects and de-extinction purposes.
Micha has been awarded as a lead investigator or partner grants funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Horizon 2020, Volkswagen Foundation, the AЯRE Foundation and more.