Dr Samantha Barton - The Florey Institute

Dr Samantha Barton Dr Samantha Barton

Using iPSC-derived Organoids to Model MND and MS.


Hosted by: Professor John Bekkers



Understanding human oligodendrocyte biology in a developmental context remains challenging, let alone in a disease context. In our laboratory, we have the capacity to use human iPSCs to generate three-dimensional organoids that contain mature, compact myelin. Using these organoids, we have been able to begin answering important questions pertaining to oligodendrocyte involvement in disease. Within this talk, Dr Barton will discuss two unpublished projects ongoing in her lab that involve phenotyping myelin changes in MND using patient iPSC (compared to isogenic and unrelated control iPSC) as well as how we have used myelinating organoids to model Multiple Sclerosis phenotypes.



Dr Samantha Barton is a Rebecca L. Cooper Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellow leading the ‘Myelin in Development and Disease’ lab at the Florey Institute. She obtained her PhD at Monash University 2015 after which she completed her first post-doc at the University of Edinburgh with Prof Siddharthan Chandran as an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow. It was in the UK that Dr Barton acquired the expertise to differentiate patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) into 2D and 3D neural culture systems, with particular focus on glial cells. She completed her second post-doctoral position at the Florey Institute with Prof Brad Turner and in 2022 was promoted to laboratory head. Her research to date has focused on understanding the biology underlying white matter, and specifically oligodendrocyte, dysfunction in a variety of diseases including MND, FTD, MS, cerebral palsy and schizophrenia and she has extensive experience phenotyping iPSC-derived cultures, glial cells, and white matter dysfunction. Dr Barton’s research program has been awarded several prestigious grants, including two NHMRC Ideas grants and an MRFF grant, as well as philanthropic support from FightMND, MND RA, CASS, BGRF and Brain Australia.