Project Objective: Proof of Concept

Developing a therapeutic candidate for Canavan disease using induced pluripotent stem cell

Canavan disease is a devastating disease of infants which affects their neural development and leads to mental retardation and early death. It occurs in 1 in 6,400 persons in the U.S. and there is no treatment so far. We propose to generate genetically-repaired and patient-specific stem cells (called iPSCs) from patients’ skin cells, and then […]

Crosstalk: Inflammation in Parkinson’s disease (PD) in a humanized in vitro model

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. It is characterized by motor impairment such as slowness of movements, shaking and gait disturbances. Age is the most consistent risk factor for PD, and as we have an aging population, it is of upmost importance that we find therapies to limit the social, economic […]

Developing a drug-screening system for Autism Spectrum Disorders using human neurons

Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases that affect 1 in 150 children in the United States. Such diseases are mainly characterized by deficits in verbal communication, impaired social interaction, and limited and repetitive interests and behavior. Because autism is a complex spectrum of disorders, a different combination of genetic mutations is […]

Engineering microscale tissue constructs from human pluripotent stem cells

Tissues derived from stem cells can serve multiple purposes to enhance biomedical therapies. Human tissues engineered from stem cells hold tremendous potential to serve as better substrates for the discovery and development of new drugs, accurately model development or disease progression, and one day ultimately be used directly to repair, restore and replace traumatically injured […]

Niche-Focused Research: Discovery & Development of Hematopoietic Regenerative Factors

Bone marrow and peripheral blood transplantation utilizing blood stem cells can provide curative treatment for patients with cancers and non-cancerous diseases of the blood and immune systems. Such treatments can be curative because the stem cells contained within the bone marrow or peripheral blood of healthy donors are capable of replacing the entirety of the […]

Development of Cellular Therapies for Retinal Disease

The long term goal of our research program is regeneration of the diseased eye. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa are leading causes of blindness for which there are no effective treatments for the majority of cases. Loss of vision is due to progressive degeneration of the photoreceptor cells, or loss of cells […]

Combinatorial Chemistry Approaches to Develop LIgands against Leukemia Stem Cells

Various cells and organs in the human body originate from a small group of primitive cells called stem cells. Human cancer cells were also recently found to arise from a group of special stem cells, called cancer stem cells (CSCs). At present, cancer that has spread throughout the body (metastasized) is difficult to treat, and […]

Building Cardiac Tissue from Stem Cells and Natural Matrices

Congestive heart failure afflicts 4.8 million people, with 400,000 new cases each year. Myocardial infarction (MI), also known as a “heart attack”, leads to a loss of cardiac tissue and impairment of left ventricular function. Because the heart does not contain a significant number of multiplying stem, precursor, or reserve cells, it is unable to […]

A Novel Microenvironment-Mediated Functional Skeletal Muscle from Human Embryonic Stem Cells and their In Vivo Engraftment

Muscle wasting is a serious clinical problem associated with a number of diseases and health conditions, affecting individuals of all ages. Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a form of muscle wasting disease resulting from genetic mutations. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of MD that limits motility and life expectancy of children. It […]

iPS Cell-Based Treatment of Dominant Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Genetic skin diseases constitute a diverse group of several hundred diseases that affect up to 2% of the population and include common disease such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and wound healing. Patients with one genetic disease, dystrophic Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), lack a normal collagen VII (COL7A1) gene and suffer from debilitating blistering and scarring that […]