It has been known for some time that the chromosomes of stem cells in culture tend to become unstable over time. This is worrisome as cells that have lost parts of their chromosomes can turn into cancer cells. This would of course be particularly bad if it happened in a stem cell line that is then implanted in a patient as a therapy. The methods currently used to determine if stem cell chromosomes are becoming unstable have a relatively low resolution.
Currently new DNA sequencing instruments have become available that allow for the first time for an acceptable price to detect all possible chromosomal instabilities through genome-wide DNA sequencing.
We propose to apply those new DNA sequencing instruments to the question of chromosomal instability in stem cell cultures. We think that based on the new instruments and our expertise in analyzing the data they generate we will be able to develop a procedure that will allow researchers to detect chromosome instability in stem cell cultures much earlier and with much higher accuracy. This should be of great benefit to stem cell research, especially if it becomes the standard procedure so that all stem cell laboratories would be enabled to directly compare their stem cell lines and cultures on a very fundamental level of quality control before using them any further in research or even to develop therapies based on them.
Our project would be beneficial to California by
-supporting jobs at [REDACTED]
-supporting jobs at the manufacturer of the DNA sequencing instruments, [REDACTED], which is located in California
-the stem cell QC procedure would be easily available to [REDACTED] researchers and other researchers in California as they could come to our laboratory to learn it there
-this project could easily form the basis for follow up research for which we could attract federal funding to California
-it would further strengthen California as a place from where people world wide expect cutting edge innovations in stem cell research - and in this case in combination with cutting edge technology - to come