Kristina Xiao Liang


Researcher, Senior Researcher, Principal Investigator, Group Leader in Mitochondrial Stem Cell Research Group



Our mitochondrial stem cell research group is located at the Department of Clinical Medicine (K1), University of Bergen.

We are using stem cells transformed from a patient's own fibroblasts to study mitochondrial diseases caused by POLG mutations. The goal of our research group is to conduct iPSC-based in vitro model system studies to increase the understanding of mitochondrial diseases, identify the underlying mechanisms of this common mitochondrial diseases and develop an iPSC-based platform to test therapeutic agents.

We have established the capabilities and facilities required for the reprogramming and differentiation of iPSCs, enabling the study of neuronal cells from patients and healthy controls. Validated iPSCs can differentiate into neural stem cells (NSCs) and compartmentalized neuronal subtypes, as well as astrocyte/glial cell populations. We have also recently developed 3D brain organoids to study disease mechanisms and test treatments.

Our broad research aim is to determine the biological and pathological basis of neurodegenerative diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, and we aim to develop this and conduct more in-depth molecular phenotyping studies. Since the group is also part of the Neuro-SysMed Center, we will use our model and stem cell approach to study other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

See also our group website: Mitochondrial Stem Cell Research | Mitochondrial Medicine & Neurogenetics (MMN) | UiB


2022 - current: Course manager for the Neuro-SysMed Junior Symposium (NEUROSYSM910), Department of Clinical Medicine (K1), University of Bergen

2022 - current: Course coordinator for the Neuro-SysMed Seminars and symposium (NEUROSYSM920), Department of Clinical Medicine (K1), University of Bergen

2021 - 2022: Course assistance for Human Physiology (OD2FYS, FARM280), Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen


See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.


  Multiple iPSC-based in vitro model systems.

  • 2D: neural stem cells, DA neurons, motor neurons, generic neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and cardiomyocytes.
  • 3D: mini-brain organoid system
  • Co-culture systems

  Modeling diseases using neural stem cells, neurons, astrocytes, and astrocyte-neurons interactions.

  Developing a high-throughput iPSC-based platform for screening the therapeutic agents.

  Investigating metabolic reprogramming between the neurons and glial cells

  Using single-cell transcriptomics for multidimensional phenotyping.