Project Objective: Research Insights

Modeling Myocardial Therapy with Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Five million people in the U.S. suffer with heart failure, at a cost of $30 billion/year. Heart failure occurs when the heart is damaged and becomes unable to meet the demands placed on it. Unlike some tissues, heart muscle does not regenerate. Human embryonic stem cells grow and divide indefinitely while maintaining the potential to […]

Guiding the developmental program of human embryonic stem cells by isolated Wnt factors

Just like cells in a human embryo, embryonic stem cells have the potential to give rise to all cell types and tissues in a human body. That is why it is an exciting prospect to use these cells in tissue repair. But in order to do so, we have to understand how we can guide […]

Epigenetic gene regulation during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells: Impact on neural repair

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the potential to become all sorts of cells in human body including nerve cells. Moreover, hESCs can be expanded in culture plates into a large quantity, thus serving as an ideal source for cell transplantation in clinical use. However, the existing hESC lines are not fully characterized in terms […]

Spinal ischemic paraplegia: modulation by human embryonic stem cell implant.

schemia-induced paraplegia often combined with a qualitatively defined increase in muscle tone (i.e. spasticity and rigidity) is a serious complication associated with a temporary aortic cross-clamping ( a surgical procedure to repair an aortic aneurysm). In addition to spinal ischemic injury-induced spasticity and rigidity a significant population of patients with traumatic spinal injury develop a […]

microRNA Regulation of Cardiomyocyte Differentiation from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Regenerative therapies could be particularly beneficial for heart disease, which is the leading killer of adults in the U.S, and is responsible for the 5 million Americans with insufficient cardiac function. At the other end of the age spectrum, malformations of the heart involving abnormal cell lineage or morphogenetic decisions are the leading noninfectious cause […]

Molecular and Cellular Transitions from ES Cells to Mature Functioning Human Neurons

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent entities, capable of generating a whole-body spectrum of distinct cell types. We have developmental procedures for inducing hESCs to develop into pure populations of human neural stem cells (hNS), a step required for generating authentic mature human neurons. Several protocols have currently been developed to differentiate hESCs to […]

Human oocyte development for genetic, pharmacological and reprogramming applications

Constructing a fate map of the human embryo

The United States government does not fund research involving human embryos or cells that were grown from them after August 9, 2001. In addition, other restrictions have been imposed that make these types of experiments extremely difficult to do. For example, work cannot be conducted alongside research that is funded by government agencies, the typical […]

The Dangers of Mitochondrial DNA Heteroplasmy in Stem Cells Created by Therapeutic Cloning

n therapeutic cloning, a patient’s cell is combined (fused) to an enucleated donated egg (oocyte) from an unrelated woman or from another animal. It is hoped that cellular factors in the egg cytoplasm will reprogram the patient’s cell nucleus making it capable of generating replacement cells for the patient’s body. Thus, if a patient is […]

Derivation of Inhibitory Nerve Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused by degeneration of a specific population of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain and is chronic, progressive, and incurable. Loss of dopamine-containing cells results in profound physiological disturbances producing tremors, rigidity, and severe deterioration of gate and balance. In the United States, approximately 1.5 million people suffer with PD and […]