Project Objective: Research Insights


Stem Cell Survival and Differentiation Through Chemical Genetics

This project will test the effects of chemical compounds similar to conventional pills for their abilities to keep human embryonic stem cells growing and multiplying in the laboratory or to help them become one of the specialized types of cells, like spinal cord cells, found in the human body. Many of the substances currently used […]

Regulation of human neural progenitor cell proliferation by Ryk-mediated Wnt signaling

Human ES cells can be used to make healthy neurons to replace the cells that are lost in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This holds great hope for future treatment of these disorders. Our research aims to produce neurons from ES cells more efficiently. During the process of differentiation to form nerve […]

Generation of long-term cultures of human hematopoietic multipotent progenitors from embryonic stem cells

For many therapeutic reasons it is important to have available large numbers of blood cells. However, it is difficult to generate large numbers of specialized blood cells that have the ability to neutralize autoimmunity and response to tumor cell growth. In this study we would develop a technique that would allow the production of large […]

hESC as tools to investigate the neural crest origin of Ewing’s sarcoma

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) hold great promise as sources of tissue for regenerative medicine and therapeutics. In addition, their utility as tools to study the origins and biology of human disease must not be underestimated. hESC give rise to tissue-specific adult stem cells and, ultimately, to all mature tissues in the body. As such, […]

Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Intestinal Fates

The roughly 25 feet of intestine in the adult human play numerous essential roles in daily life, such as nutrient absorption, secretion of hormones, and serving as a barrier to infection. Commensurate with these diverse roles, diseases of the intestine are a considerable source of human morbidity and mortality. Indeed, numerous pathologic conditions including inflammatory […]

Micro Platform for Controlled Cardiac Myocyte Differentiation

Congestive heart failure, the inability of the heart to continue to pump effectively due to damage of its muscle cells, affects approximately 4.8 million Americans and is a leading cause of mortality. Causes of the irreversible damage to the cardiomyocytes that results in congestive heart failure include hypertension, heart attacks, and coronary disease. Because the […]

Micro Platform for Controlled Cardiac Myocyte Differentiation

Congestive heart failure, the inability of the heart to continue to pump effectively due to damage of its muscle cells, affects approximately 4.8 million Americans and is a leading cause of mortality. Causes of the irreversible damage to the cardiomyocytes that results in congestive heart failure include hypertension, heart attacks, and coronary disease. Because the […]

Derivation and Characterization of Cancer Stem Cells from Human ES Cells

Cancer is the leading cause of death for people younger than 85 (1). High cancer mortality rates underscore the need for more sensitive diagnostic techniques as well as therapies that selectively target cells responsible for cancer propagation (1) Compelling studies suggest that human cancer stem cells (CSC) arise from aberrantly self-renewing tissue specific stem or […]

Identifying small molecules that stimulate the differentiation of hESCs into dopamine-producing neurons

In this application, we propose to identify small molecule compounds that can stimulate human embryonic stem cells to become dopamine-producing neurons. These neurons degenerate in Parkinson’s disease, and currently have very limited availability, thus hindering the cell replacement therapy for treating Parkinson’s disease. Our proposed research, if successful, will lead to the identification of small […]

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation to Trophoblast: Basic Biology and Clinical Translation to Improve Human Fertility

In addition to the important potential applications for transplantation and treatment of chronic diseases, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are also a valuable resource to study early human development relevant to fertility and healthy pregnancies. After fertilization, the human zygote undergoes cell divisions and ultimately becomes the blastocyst that has an inner cell mass and […]