Therapeutic/Technology: Exploring stem cell mechanisms

Generating pluripotent cell lines from neurons.

Stem cell research holds great promise for neurological disease. One in three Americans will suffer from diseases of the nervous system ranging from stroke to Alzheimer’s disease to epilepsy. Very few treatments for neurological disease exist, in part because of he lack of suitable in vitro models with which to test therapeutics. In addition, many […]

Skeletal muscle development from hESC and its in vivo applications in animal models of muscular dystrophy

Embryonic stem cells (ESC) originating from early stage embryos are able to differentiate into any type of cells in the body. The generation of ESC lines from human embryos (hESC) has attracted a lot of dispute among researchers, but raised the hope that one day hESCs can be used in cell replacement therapy for the […]

Genetic Encoding Novel Amino Acids in Embryonic Stem Cells for Molecular Understanding of Differentiation to Dopamine Neurons

Embryonic stem cells have the capacity to self-renew and differentiate into other cell types. Understanding how this is regulated on the molecular level would enable us to manipulate the process and guide stem cells to generate specific types of cells for safe transplantation. However, complex networks of intracellular cofactors and external signals from the environment […]

Molecular mechanisms involved in adult neural stem cell maintenance

The adult brain contains a pool of stem cells, termed adult neural stem cells, that could be used for regenerative purposes in diseases that affect the nervous system. The goal of this proposal is to understand the mechanisms that promote the maintenance of adult neural stem cells as an organism ages. Understanding the factors that […]

Enhancing Survival of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Grafts by Induction of Immunological Tolerance

Although ESC-based therapies hold great promise for the cure of a wide diversity of degenerative diseases, rapid progress to actual human clinical trials is hindered by the lack of preclinical data for specific ESC-based therapies. I aim to move the process forward by establishing a protocol in which immune system cells are reproducibly produced from […]

A Novel Engineered Niche to Explore the Vasculogenic Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells

Cardiovascular diseases account for an estimated $330 billion in health care costs each year, afflict 61.8 million Americans, and will account for more than 1.5 million deaths in the U.S. this year alone. A number of these diseases are characterized by either insufficient blood vessel growth or damage to the existing vessels, resulting in inadequate […]

Trithorax and Polycomb methyltransferase complexes in cell fate determination.

The physiological template of our genome, called chromatin, is composed of DNA wrapped around histone proteins. In the process of development the genome is interpreted in a way that is dynamic, and yet, often heritable, to produce different specialized tissues and organs. A substantial portion of information that is required for proper interpretation of the […]

Genetic dissection of mesodermal commitment to the hematopoietic fates.

Genetic dissection of mesodermal commitment to hematopoietic fates. Hematopoietic cell transplantation is the gold standard for cell-based therapy and is routinely used to treat a wide variety of blood disorders and cancer. A major limitation exists, however, in finding donors whose immune systems are compatible with those of the patients requiring transplantation. The recent creation […]

Oral and Craniofacial Reconstruction Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells

The overall goal of this proposal is to explore a new stem cell-based treatment for major defects in the orofacial regions resulted from burns, physical injuries, genetic diseases, cancers, infectious diseases, and recently, bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw (BONJ), using the patient’s own stem cells obtained from the oral cavity known as orofacial mesenchymal stem […]

Reprogramming of human somatic cells back to pluripotent embryonic stem cells

The ability to dedifferentiate or reverse lineage-committed cells to pluripotent/multipotent cells might overcome many of the obstacles (e.g. cell sources, immunocompatibility and bioethical concerns) associated with using other ES and adult stem cells in clinical applications. With an efficient dedifferentiation process, it is conceivable that healthy, abundant and easily accessible somatic cells could be reprogrammed […]