Project Objective: Research Insights

Role of the microenvironment in human iPS and NSC fate and tumorigenesis

Multipotent Neural Stem Cells (NSC) can be derived from adult central nervous system (CNS) tissue, embryonic stem cells (ESC), or iPSC and provide a partially committed cell population that has not exhibited evidence of tumorigenesis after long term CNS transplantation. Transplantation of NSC from these different sources has been shown by multiple investigators in different […]

Self-renewal and senescence in iPS cells derived from patients with a stem cell disease

The discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology promises to revolutionize our understanding of human disease and to allow the development of new cellular therapies for regenerative medicine applications. The ability to reprogram a patient’s fibroblasts to iPS cells creates the opportunity to expand human cells with a specific genetic defect and to study […]

Molecular Characterization and Functional Exploration of Nuclear Receptors in hiPSCs

Our lab is known for its discovery of the family of nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) that use vitamins/hormones to control genes and thereby regulate embryonic development, cell growth, physiology and metabolism. Of 48 known NHRs, we discovered that a unique subset of 38 receptors are expressed in adipose-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The […]

RNA Binding Protein-mediated Post-transcriptional Networks Regulating HPSC Pluripotency

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) have the remarkable capacity to replicate indefinitely and differentiate into virtually any cell type in the human body. Maintaining this pluripotent cell state requires the precise control of hundreds, if not thousands of proteins in the cells, a process known as gene regulation. Recently it has been shown that adult […]

WNT signaling and the control of cell fate decisions in human pluripotent stem cells.

With their ability to develop into virtually all mature cell types, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) represent a unique and powerful research tool to study the fundamental mechanisms regulating human development. In addition, hPSC provide the “raw material” for the development of cell-based therapies of presently incurable diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative […]

Directing migration of human stem cells with electric fields

Great progress has been made in the last decades to derive many types of human stem cells for potential therapeutic uses. However, practical clinical use is severely limited by several challenges. One of which is the poor homing and integration of transplanted cells with the targeted host tissues – only very few transplanted stem cells […]

Mitochondrial Metabolism in hESC and hiPSC Differentiation, Reprogramming, and Cancer

Stem cell quality and safety in developing regenerative medicine therapies is of utmost importance. Poor outcomes include inadequate functionality, exhaustion, immune rejection, cancer development, and others. Recent studies strongly support our core hypothesis that mitochondrial function determines stem cell quality and safety. Dysfunctional mitochondria foster cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurodegeneration, immunodeficiency, and cardiomyopathy. Unlike whole genome […]

The stem cell microenvironment in the maintenance of pluripotency and reprogramming

Pluripotent stem cell research is just on the verge of beginning to fulfill its promise to revolutionize medicine. Whether they are derived from embryos, or from adult cells that have been reprogrammed, human pluripotent stem cells can be propagated indefinitely in the laboratory and can turn into a wide range of mature cell types, providing […]

The retinoblastoma (RB) gene family in cellular reprogramming

One important aspect of regenerative medicine is the ability to introduce functional stem cells into patients to restore tissue function. This type of therapeutic approach will not be commonly used until several major potential problems have been addressed, including immune rejection and the risk of developing cancer. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great promise […]

Identification and characterization of human ES-derived DA neuronal subtypes

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative movement disorder that affects 1 in 100 people over the age of 60, one million people in the US and six million worldwide. Patients show a resting tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia), postural instability and rigidity. Parkinson’s disease results primarily from the loss of neurons deep in the middle […]