BCH Human Neuron Core

Overview of Services

Patient-derived neurons hold great promises for drug identification and repurposing to treat neurological disorders, therapies for which are often limited. Models of neurological disorders have been established by identifying an array of disease-relevant phenotypes in specific neuronal subtypes differentiated from patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Currently, patient-derived iPSC models for neurological disorders include, but not limited to, tuberous sclerosis complex, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome, and autism and neuropsychiatric disorders associated with copy number variations. To create a streamlined workflow for research from bed to bench and back, the Translational Neuroscience Center (TNC) at Boston Children’s Hospital created the Human Neuron Core to help bridge the gaps between clinics, basic science, and drug development.


At Human Neuron Core, we are dedicated to support clinicians, fellow researchers, as well as industry clients by providing services to collect patient samples, differentiate specific neuronal subtypes, and phenotype patient-derived neurons. We optimize standard operating procedures based on published and well-characterized protocols and produce high-quality neuronal subtypes, such as cortical, spinal motor, sensory, and GABAergic neurons. We provide access and training to the Axion Maestro multielectrode array (MEA), which allows user-friendly measurements on spontaneous electrical activities over time. In addition, the existing Assay Development Screening Facility (ADSF) core facility within the FM Kirby Neurobiology Center provides complementary resources in the form of a high-throughput screening instrument to investigators for monitoring functional responses of neurons and other cell types. These paired facilities enable researchers to create neurons, develop assays, and run drug screens for new therapeutic approaches to neurological diseases.


The Human Neuron Core is staffed by Dr. Elizabeth Buttermore, Dr. Ivy Pin-Fang Chen, Sean Dwyer, Cindy Yang, and Teresa Chen under the supervision of the Translational Neuroscience Center director, Dr. Mustafa Sahin. Please contact us with any questions about the potential services we can provide to support your research programs.


For questions regarding patient sample collection and human neuron differentiation services, please contact Ivy Chen (Pin-Fang.Chen@childrens.harvard.edu).

For questions regarding human neuron phenotyping services and training on Axion Maestro MEA, Please contact Liz Buttermore (Elizabeth.Buttermore@childrens.harvard.edu).


Getting Started 

  • Sign up for a new account using the link in the upper right hand corner, or click here
  • Non-BCH users, register for an account here. If you already have an account, login here
  • Login with your approved credentials in the upper right hand corner. 
  • Email Ivy Chen or Liz Buttermore for information and access to our services and equipment.
  • Visit the Customer Help Manual for further guidance using iLab's Core Facility Services.


Links and Resources

Boston Children's Hospital Translational Neuroscience Center

Axion Maestro Multielectrode Array

Ion AmpliSeq Human Transcriptome Analysis



Mustafa Sahin, MD. PhD

Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Director, Translational Neurosceince Center

Email: mustafa.sahin@childrens.harvard.edu

Phone: (617) 355-8994


Location and Hours of Operation

Hours Location


9 am to 5 pm

3 Blackfan Circle

12th Floor (#12160)

Boston,  MA  02115 


Name Role Phone Email Location
Ivy Pin-Fang Chen
Assistant Director--Differentiation
Liz Buttermore
Assistant Director--Phenotyping
Sean Dwyer
Research Assistant

Cindy Yang
Research Assistant

Teresa Chen
Research Assistant


Fixed Cost Services

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