Therapeutic/Technology: Exploring disease mechanisms


Determining how age-specific heterogeneity of human hematopoietic stem cells and megakaryocyte progenitors contribute to thrombotic disease upon aging

Research Objective Our research will determine how aging of human blood stem cells leads to dramatic increases in disorders of platelets, cells that normally prevent bleeding but form harmful clots when dysregulated. Impact Our findings have the potential to inform prevention and mitigation strategies of bleeding and clotting disorders that contribute to significant morbidity and […]

Understanding Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy Mechanisms using CRISPRi and Chemical Screens in Human iPSC-Derived Sensory Neurons

Research Objective The research objectives are to identify causal genes for chemotherapy-induced mitochondrial toxicity and neurodegeneration in sensory neurons and drugs that target this toxicity. Impact These studies will open the possibility for genetic or drug targeting to prevent and treat drug-induced peripheral neuropathies and possibly neuropathies caused by disease or inherited. Major Proposed Activities […]

Control of OCT4 abundance and function in human stem cells

Research Objective Our work will reveal an essential pathway that establishes precise levels of the OCT4 transcription factor and protects stem cell identity despite genetic or environmental stress. Impact Our work will enhance our ability to generate and expand high-quality induced pluripotent stem cells from older patients or patients of neurodegenerative disease for use in […]

Modulation of human alveolar stem cells to promote lung regeneration and avoid pulmonary fibrosis

Research Objective Understanding regulators of human alveolar lung stem cell function will promote more normal lung regeneration after injury and avoid the nearly untreatable problem of advanced pulmonary fibrosis. Impact Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and other chronic fibrotic lung disorders. Major Proposed Activities Modify human fibroblasts to create a supporting […]

A new precision medicine based iPSC-derived model to study personalized intestinal fibrosis treatments in pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease

Research Objective We propose to discover a tool that will utilize patient specific iPSC-derived human mini-guts to identify personalized antifibrotic treatments in pediatric Crohn’s disease patients Impact The major bottleneck in intestinal fibrosis research is the difficulty in obtaining patient-specific biologically relevant cells for in vitro modeling. This iPSC-derived tool would overcome it. Major Proposed […]

An IPSC cell based model of macular degeneration for drug discovery.

Research Objective Towards a cure for age related blindness, we propose to create a human stem cell based model to screen for drugs that are protective against Age related macular degeneration (AMD). Impact With up to 11 million people in the United States affected by AMD, effective treatments against macular degeneration could address vision loss […]

In vitro modeling of human motor neuron disease

Motor neuron (MN) diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis lead to progressive degeneration of MNs, presenting first with muscle weakness, followed by locomotor defects and frequently death due to respiratory failure. While progress has been made in identifying genes associated with MN degeneration, the molecular and cellular processes underlying disease onset […]

Elucidating pathways from hereditary Alzheimer mutations to pathological tau phenotypes

We propose to elucidate pathways of genes that lead from early causes to later defects in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), which is common, fatal, and for which no effective disease-modifying drugs are available. Because no effective AD treatment is available or imminent, we propose to discover novel genetic pathways by screening purified human brain cells made […]

Misregulated Mitophagy in Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration

Parkinson’s disease (PD), is one of the leading causes of disabilities and death and afflicting millions of people worldwide. Effective treatments are desperately needed but the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s destructive path are poorly understood. Mitochondria are cell’s power plants that provide almost all the energy a cell needs. When these cellular […]

Human iPSC modeling and therapeutics for degenerative peripheral nerve disease

The applicant is an MD/PhD trained physician scientist, whose clinical expertise is neuromuscular disorders including peripheral nerve disease. The proposal is aimed at providing a research proposal and career development plan that will allow the applicant to develop an independent research program, which attempts to bring stem cell based therapies to patients with peripheral nerve […]