“Disease in a dish” is a cutting-edge strategy that allows researchers to study an individual patient’s cells in a laboratory dish. Originally, this approach was introduced to employ stem cells, especially induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), isolated from given patients and differentiated to a designed lineage to mimic the corresponding disease. This approach can bypass the significant problems and limitations of traditional approaches (the use of cell lines and/or transgenic animal models), which evidently could not cope with the complexity of molecular medicine and hence with multiple disease-inducing factors including the genetics of the patient and environmental and epigenetic factors.
However, one of the key goals of the strategy is to exceed the original “Disease in a dish” concept and hence to expand its scope. Therefore, based on current research trends and the identified Hungarian expertise, the ‘revisited’ cross-cutting platform now aims to uncover the molecular mechanism of certain diseases by identifying, assessing and developing in vitro disease models, single cell approaches, intercellular communication networks, environmental factors (e.g stressors), and pathophysiological regulatory patterns and matrices. With this complex, novel technological approach it is expected that impact of research activities carried out in the frame of the three thematic pillars can be further strengthened, especially from the molecular and translational aspects, which are the prerequisites of modern molecular medicine.