Disease Focus: Immune Disease

Generation of regulatory T cells by reprogramming

The goal of our research is to develop efficient methods for making a particular class of immune-system cells known as regulatory T cells (Tregs). Tregs have the potential to be useful in a wide variety of clinical situations. For instance, they could be used to control the harmful immune responses seen in patients with autoimmune […]

Maternal and Fetal Immune Responses to In Utero Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

The immune system is the body’s defense system against disease and can recognize foreign cells. Because of this, stem cells and organs that are transplanted from one person to another are usually “rejected” by the immune system, forcing doctors to use powerful immune suppressive drugs with severe side effects. This natural defense system will therefore […]

Thymus based tolerance to stem cell therapies

This proposal focuses on the role of the immune system in transplantation of derivatives of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). A critical roadblock to successful cell replacement therapies, no matter what the disease or injury, is the fact that the immune system’s main function is to prevent the introduction of foreign substances into our bodies. […]

Purified allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells as a platform for tolerance induction

Blood and immune cells originate and mature in the bone marrow. Bone marrow cells are mixtures of blood cells at different stages of development, and include rare populations of blood-forming stem cells. These stem cells are the only cells capable of generating the blood system for the life of an individual. Bone marrow transplants (BMT) […]

Stem cell tolerance through the use of engineered antigen-specific regulatory T cells

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) occurs as a consequence of uncontrolled immune activation, culminating in the destruction of insulin-producing beta-cells. Efforts to prevent or reverse diabetes have been limited by the lack of safe and effective immunotherapies coupled with the inability to restore insulin producing beta-cells. We believe proper immune control to self-tissues to be a […]

Stem cell differentiation to thymic epithelium for inducing tolerance to stem cells

The thymus is an organ that plays a key role in controlling immune responses and immune tolerance. The thymus promotes immune tolerance by deleting and removing self-reactive T cells from the immune system. In addition, the thymus also helps drive the production of important suppressor T cell populations like regulatory T cells that also control […]

Safe, efficient creation of human induced pluripotent stem cells without the use of retroviruses

Embryonic stem cells open up exciting new prospects for medicine, because they can differentiate into any tissue in the body. Therefore, they have the potential to be used to repair faulty tissues in diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and neural disorders. Furthermore, stem cells can be corrected by gene therapy and transplanted, in order to […]

Prospective isolation of hESC-derived hematopoietic and cardiomyocyte stem cells

The capacity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to perpetuate themselves indefinitely in culture and to differentiate to all cell types of the body has lead to numerous studies that aim to isolate therapeutically relevant cells for the benefit of patients, and also to study how genetic diseases develop. However, hESCs can cause tumors called […]

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapeutic Strategies to Target HIV Disease

AIDS is a disease that currently has no cure. It arises when the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects certain types of blood cells. These cells would normally be used to fight infection, but instead are destroyed by the virus, leading to immunodeficiency. We have recently been able to induce the development of human embryonic stem […]

Human stem cell derived oligodendrocytes for treatment of stroke and MS

Strokes that affect the nerves cells, i.e., “gray matter”, consistently receive the most attention. However, the kind of strokes that affecting the “wiring” of the brain, i.e., “white matter”, cause nearly as much disability. The most severe disability is caused when the stroke is in the wiring (axons) that connect the brain and spinal cord; […]