Program Type: Discovery


A new precision medicine based iPSC-derived model to study personalized intestinal fibrosis treatments in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease

Research Objective We propose to discover a tool that will utilize patient specific iPSC-derived human mini-guts to identify personalized antifibrotic treatments in pediatric Crohn’s disease patients Impact The major bottleneck in intestinal fibrosis research is the difficulty in obtaining patient-specific biologically relevant cells for in vitro modeling. This iPSC-derived tool would overcome it. Major Proposed […]

Therapeutics to overcome the differentiation roadblock in Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

Research Objective This proposal will deliver a small molecule therapeutic candidate for the treatment of Myelodysplastic Syndromes and will act by inducing differentiation on mutated hematopoietic stem cells. Impact This application will enable development of a therapeutic candidate for the treatment of Myelodysplastic Syndromes, a preneoplastic hematological condition of HSCs. Major Proposed Activities Determine the […]

Defining the Optimal Gene Therapy Approach of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells for the Treatment of Dedicator of Cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) Deficiency

Research Objective A new therapeutic option for DOCK8 deficiency using autologous human hematopoietic stem cells modified through either lentiviral gene addition or CRISPR/Cas9 based gene editing. Impact Allogeneic HSCT is complicated by comorbidities that can be addressed by autologous stem cell gene therapy. This is relevant for DOCK8 deficiency and can be applied broadly to […]

AAV-dCas9 Epigenetic Editing for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder

Research Objective We propose a gene therapy for the treatment of a severe infantile epilepsy called CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder using CRISPR-mediated epigenetic editing Impact A transformative treatment for females affected by CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder in addition a platform for the approximately 38 other X-linked intellectual disabilities that predominately affect females Major Proposed Activities Validation of […]

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Alpha Thalassemia

Research Objective The objective of this research is to define the final therapeutic candidate for effective hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy to treat severe alpha thalassemia that requires life-ling transfusions Impact Severe alpha thalassemia may lead to fetal demise or a life-long need for chronic transfusions with multiple medical complications, especially iron overload from transfusions. […]

Targeted Immunotherapy-Based Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

Research Objective An engineered antibody construct that targets and recruits immune cells to kill diseased blood stem cells, including leukemia stem cells, so that healthy stem cells can replace the diseased ones Impact An antibody that can direct immune cells to kill diseased stem cells would make stem cell transplant safer, more accessible and effective […]

Cardiac Reprogramming Gene Therapy for Post-Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure

Research Objective The candidate is a gene therapy that delivers cardiac reprogramming factors to convert resident cardiac fibroblasts into functioning cardiac muscle. Thus, it is a regenerative cardiac gene therapy. Impact The targeted condition is heart failure arising from myocardial infarction or other insults causing focal heart muscle loss. Cardiac muscle cells are post-mitotic and […]

Modulation of oral epithelium stem cells by RSpo1 for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis

Research Objective Locally delivered formulation of RSpo1 protein as an activator of Lgr5+ epithelial stem cells in chemotherapy- or radiation therapy-induced oral mucositis Impact Oral mucositis Major Proposed Activities RSpo1 formulation design and selection for optimal oral delivery Activation of Wnt pathway by formulated RSpo1 in-vitro Production of RSpo1 protein Oral stem cell expansion by […]

Development of a novel stem-cell based carrier for intravenous delivery of oncolytic viruses

Research Objective Develop a stem cell-based platform that safely and efficiently delivers viruses that specifically kill tumor cells and restore immune activity in patients with advanced cancer. Impact Overcome the inherent limitations that prevent efficient intravenous delivery of tumor killing viruses to metastatic tumors. Major Proposed Activities Compare the relative efficacy of native or cargocyte-delivered […]

Extending Immune-Evasive Human Islet-Like Organoids (HILOs) Survival and Function as a Cure for T1D

Research Objective Determine optimal islet transplant conditions and systemic treatments that promote graft survival upon transplantation into immune-competent diabetic subjects. Impact Our proposal will optimize the generation and viability of an unlimited, reproducible source of human engineered islets for transplantation. Major Proposed Activities Demonstrate improved HILO graft survival with FGF1 coating Prolong grafted HILO survival […]