Year 5 (5/1/12 – 4/30/13)

During the reporting period, we have made significant progress toward the following research aims: (1) Using the reprogramming assay system established, we continued to screen and identify new small molecules that can enhance reprogramming efficiency under a single reprogramming factor/Oct4 condition to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from human somatic cells. (2) Using standard assays, we have characterized those iPS cells to be pluripotent in vitro and in vivo. (3) Most importantly, we characterized new fundamental mechanism of reprogramming involving metabolism and epigenetics. Such new mechanistic insight has since provided new guidance and strategies to optimize the reprogramming conditions.