Project Objective: Research Insights

Molecular Characterization of hESC and hIPSC-Derived Spinal Motor Neurons

One of the main objectives of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cell types that can be used to either facilitate the study of or directly treat human disease. Tremendous progress towards these goals has been made in the area of motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury through the findings that motor […]

Human Cardiovascular Progenitors, their Niches and Control of Self-renewal and Cell Fate

For the millions of Americans who are born with or develop heart disease, stem cell research offers the first hope of reversing or repairing heart muscle damage. Thus, early reports suggesting heart regeneration after transplantation of adult bone marrow-derived stem cells were met with great excitement in both the scientific and lay community. However, although […]

Defining the molecular mechanisms of somatic cell reprogramming

The development of methods to “reprogram” adult cells such as skin cells by simultaneously expressing four specific factors — Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4 — in order to create cells resembling embryonic stem (ES) cells is a major breakthrough in stem cell biology. Our ability to generate these cells, which are known as induced pluripotent […]

Molecular Mechanisms of Reprogramming towards Pluripotency

Stem cell biology and its applications to cell-based therapies, since its inception 30 years ago, has been hindered by the immunological considerations of rejection of non-autologous cells in patients, as well as by ethical concerns. The generation of pluripotent cells from a patient’s own somatic cells has therefore been the holy grail of regenerative medicine. […]

Molecular Characterization and Functional Exploration of Hemogenic Endothelium

Hematopoietic cells are responsible for generating all cell types present in the blood and therefore critical for the provision of oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues in the body. Blood cells are also required for defense against microorganisms and even for the recognition and elimination of tumor cells. Because blood cells have a relatively […]