Human Stem Cell Use: Embryonic Stem Cell

Derivation and Characterization of Cancer Stem Cells from Human ES Cells

Cancer is the leading cause of death for people younger than 85 (1). High cancer mortality rates underscore the need for more sensitive diagnostic techniques as well as therapies that selectively target cells responsible for cancer propagation (1) Compelling studies suggest that human cancer stem cells (CSC) arise from aberrantly self-renewing tissue specific stem or […]

Identifying small molecules that stimulate the differentiation of hESCs into dopamine-producing neurons

In this application, we propose to identify small molecule compounds that can stimulate human embryonic stem cells to become dopamine-producing neurons. These neurons degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, and currently have very limited availability, thus hindering the cell replacement therapy for treating Parkinson’s disease. Our proposed research, if successful, will lead to the identification of small […]

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation to Trophoblast: Basic Biology and Clinical Translation to Improve Human Fertility

In addition to the important potential applications for transplantation and treatment of chronic diseases, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are also a valuable resource to study early human development relevant to fertility and healthy pregnancies. After fertilization, the human zygote undergoes cell divisions and ultimately becomes the blastocyst that has an inner cell mass and […]

MicroRNA Regulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

A major hurdle for regenerative medicine is the safe transplantation of human embryonic stem (ES) cells or their derivatives into patients. While the unlimited growth potential of ES cells is a major asset for their potential in tissue replacement, it is also a major risk for tumorigenesis. Therefore, it is critical to determine what molecules […]

Role of Glycans in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Conversion to Neural Precursor Cells

Like a thick frosting on a cake, complex sugar chains decorate every surface of every cell. Try to approach a cell, as friend or foe, and the canopy of sugars is the first gate-keeper. Each cell makes and organizes these sugar chains, called glycans, on its surface. They are very complicated molecules, and different cells […]

Specification of Ventricular Myocyte and Pacemaker Lineages Utilizing Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Heart failure is a leading cause of mortality in California and the United States. Currently, there are no “cures” for heart failure.Other life threatening forms of heart disease include dysfunction of cardiac pacemaker cells, necessitating implantation of mechanical pacemakers. Although mechanical pacemakers can be efficacious, there are potential associated problems, including infection, limited battery half-life, […]

Regulation of Specific Chromosomal Boundary Elements by CTCF Protein Complexes in Human Embryonic Stem Cells

The genetic information contained in all human cells is arranged into distinct territories or “neighborhoods” with barriers or “fences” that protect the action in one neighborhood from spilling over into an adjacent region. In this way, one gene (A) can be working while its neighboring genes (B and C) are resting. As physiological conditions change […]

In vitro differentiation of hESCs into corticospinal motor neurons

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive, fatal neurological disease that leads to the degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and in the spinal cord. There are currently 20,000 ALS patients in the United States, and 5,000 new patients are diagnosed every year. Unfortunately no cure has been found for ALS. The only […]

Discovering Potent Molecules with Human ESCs to Treat Heart Disease

This work is directly relevant to human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research because it brings new ideas about novel compounds to affect cardiomyogenesis. The work addresses an urgent need to develop new agents to treat cardiovascular disease. We will develop potent and selective drug-like molecules as cardiomyocyte differentiation agents. Heart disease is the leading cause […]

Programmed Cell Death Pathways Activated in Embryonic Stem Cells

The therapeutic potential of human embryonic stem cells is extraordinary. Without a doubt, regenerative medicines will save thousands of lives in the years to come. Before that day arrives, much needs to be learned from the cells themselves. The reasons that these cells hold so much promise are two-fold: (1) embryonic stem cells can renew […]