Project Objective: Research Insights

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 […]

Mechanisms of small RNA regulation in early embryonic development

The promise of embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine is based on their potential to make every cell in the body, a property coined pluripotency. With rapid recent advances in technology, it is becoming relative straightforward to make embryonic stem cell-like lines from adult tissues. In the near future, the generation of these lines will […]

Stem Cells for Immune System Regeneration to Fight Cancer

This proposal will define the biology of stem cell engineering to produce a cancer-fighting immune system. The immune system protects our body against most outside threats. However, it frequently fails to protect us from cancer. The T cell receptor (or TCR), a complex protein on the surface of an immune cell (or lymphocyte), allows to […]

The molecular basis underlying adult neurogenesis during regeneration and tissue renewal

Regeneration of lost body parts has long fascinated humans, yet regeneration remains one of the great mysteries in biology. Forty years ago, studies on the mammalian brain provided evidence that new neurons are generated throughout life. It is now widely accepted that neurons are born (neurogenesis) in a wide range of animals, including humans, from […]

Mechanisms Underlying the Diverse Functions of STAT3 in Embryonic Stem Cell Fate Regulation

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are derived from very early stage embryos. ESCs can be maintained in culture indefinitely while retain the ability to make any type of cell in the body. These properties make ESCs a very powerful tool to address basic biology questions. ESCs also offer an important renewable resource for future cell replacement […]