Stage of Program: Basic Research and Discovery Stage Programs

Towards a trophectoderm stem-cell model representing human blastocysts of the highest implantation potential

Research Objective To define a new reference for embryos and stem cell lines of the highest developmental potential and work towards a trophoblast stem cell model to study factors important for successful implantation Impact The molecular determinants of successful human blastocyst implantation remain unknown and trophectoderm stem cell models to study these embryo factors and […]

Developing a microglia replacement therapy

Research Objective To develop a new cell therapy for the brain by transplanting the brain's immune cells Impact The brain cell therapy we envision could be used to treat rare genetic metabolic diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, brain tumors, as well as common neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Major Proposed Activities Finding the best source of human […]

Development of a stem-cell based approach to interpret global effects of genetic variants contributing to neurodevelopmental disease risk

Research Objective We are developing a strategy to characterize the disease-relevance of hundreds of mutations across diverse genetic backgrounds using stem cells Impact Understanding how mutations impact cellular function can identify treatments for genetic diseases, but currently less than 1% of identified mutations have a known function. Major Proposed Activities Identify optimal conditions for SNV […]

Development of universal off-the-shelf iPSC derived dendritic cells for use as patient specific anti-tumor vaccine

Research Objective This proposal aims to develop a novel cell based vaccine for the treatment of cancer. The vaccine would be derived from stem cells and be personalized to the genetics of the patient and their cancer. Impact Success would provide proof-of-principle of a novel cell based therapy for cancers broadly. It is expected to […]

Control of OCT4 abundance and function in human stem cells

Research Objective Our work will reveal an essential pathway that establishes precise levels of the OCT4 transcription factor and protects stem cell identity despite genetic or environmental stress. Impact Our work will enhance our ability to generate and expand high-quality induced pluripotent stem cells from older patients or patients of neurodegenerative disease for use in […]

Modulation of human alveolar stem cells to promote lung regeneration and avoid pulmonary fibrosis

Research Objective Understanding regulators of human alveolar lung stem cell function will promote more normal lung regeneration after injury and avoid the nearly untreatable problem of advanced pulmonary fibrosis. Impact Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and other chronic fibrotic lung disorders. Major Proposed Activities Modify human fibroblasts to create a supporting […]

Engineering AAV capsids for transduction of neural and muscle stem cells

Research Objective The studies will identify and characterize new gene therapy vectors able to deliver gene editing components to stem cells. to enable treatment of diseases involving both muscle and brain. Impact New AAV capsids that target muscle and neural stem cells will enhance the number of neurological diseases able to be treated with AAV-based […]

Drivers of trophoblast stem/progenitor cell identity in human placenta

Research Objective This proposal will elucidate the mechanisms that identify a stem/progenitor cell population in the human placenta. Impact This proposal addresses our current knowledge gap on human placental development related to formation of the maternal/fetal interface during pregnancy, and placenta-associated pregnancy complications. Major Proposed Activities Identification of DNA regions, called enhancers, regulating placenta stem/progenitor […]

Generation of cortical organoids with tunable areal identities by spatial engineering of morphogens

Research Objective This project is to identify molecular mechanisms for generating different cortical regions using a novel hydrogel platform and brain organoids. Impact The hydrogel technology to establish localized signals and resulting enhanced cortical organoids would advance 3D human stem cell cultures as tools for biomedical innovation. Major Proposed Activities Hydrogel optimization for signaling molecule […]

Development of Anti-COVID RNAi Therapeutics Using Human iPSC-Derived Alveolar Epithelial Cells

Research Objective To optimize a new approach to deliver Anti-COVID siRNAs into human iPSC-derived lung cells that can selectively kill the COVID virus Impact Our proposal, if successful, will solve the siRNA delivery problem and rapidly open the door to Anti-COVID siRNA therapeutics. Major Proposed Activities Complete synthesis of a new delivery device called a […]