Project Objective: Research Insights

Generation of regulatory T cells by reprogramming

The goal of our research is to develop efficient methods for making a particular class of immune-system cells known as regulatory T cells (Tregs). Tregs have the potential to be useful in a wide variety of clinical situations. For instance, they could be used to control the harmful immune responses seen in patients with autoimmune […]

Maternal and Fetal Immune Responses to In Utero Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

The immune system is the body’s defense system against disease and can recognize foreign cells. Because of this, stem cells and organs that are transplanted from one person to another are usually “rejected” by the immune system, forcing doctors to use powerful immune suppressive drugs with severe side effects. This natural defense system will therefore […]

Thymus based tolerance to stem cell therapies

This proposal focuses on the role of the immune system in transplantation of derivatives of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). A critical roadblock to successful cell replacement therapies, no matter what the disease or injury, is the fact that the immune system’s main function is to prevent the introduction of foreign substances into our bodies. […]

Stem cell tolerance through the use of engineered antigen-specific regulatory T cells

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) occurs as a consequence of uncontrolled immune activation, culminating in the destruction of insulin-producing beta-cells. Efforts to prevent or reverse diabetes have been limited by the lack of safe and effective immunotherapies coupled with the inability to restore insulin producing beta-cells. We believe proper immune control to self-tissues to be a […]

Stem cell differentiation to thymic epithelium for inducing tolerance to stem cells

The thymus is an organ that plays a key role in controlling immune responses and immune tolerance. The thymus promotes immune tolerance by deleting and removing self-reactive T cells from the immune system. In addition, the thymus also helps drive the production of important suppressor T cell populations like regulatory T cells that also control […]

Defining the Isoform-Specific Effects of Apolipoprotein E on the Development of iPS Cells into Functional Neurons in Vitro and in Vivo

GOALS We propose to determine the effects of different forms of apoE on the development of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into functional neurons. In Aim 1, iPS cells will be generated from skin cells of adult knock-in (KI) mice expressing different forms of human apoE and in humans with different apoE genotypes. In Aim […]

Mechanisms Underlying the Responses of Normal and Cancer Stem Cells to Environmental and Therapeutic Insults

Adult stem cells play an essential role in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Environmental and therapeutic insults leading to DNA damage dramatically impact stem cell functions and can lead to organ failure or cancer development. Yet little is known about the mechanisms by which adult stem cells respond to such insults by repairing their damaged […]

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 […]

Mechanisms in Choroid Plexus Epithelial Development

Buried deep inside the brain are cells known as choroid plexus epithelial (CPe) cells. Although not as famous as other cells in the nervous system, CPe cells perform a large number of important jobs that keep the brain and spinal cord healthy. They produce the fluid (known as cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF) that bathes the […]

The roles of non-coding RNAs in the self-renewal and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells

There are thousands of cell types in the animal body, many of which can be derived from embryonic stem cells (ES cells), a pluripotent cell type that thrive in cell culture condition. ES cells differentiate into various cell type in a tissue culture dish in response to different growth factor/cytokine treatment, which can be transplanted […]