Therapeutic/Technology: Model system development

Development of a humanized mouse model for testing anti-HIV HSPC gene therapy strategies in HIV-1 infected mice.

Stem cell therapy for inflammatory bowel disease

One of the most promising approaches that physicians foresee for treating human disease is regenerative medicine. A major aim in this field is to restore function by repairing damaged organs. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease characterized by intermittent episodes of intestinal inflammation and disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier. It causes significant […]

Human pluripotent stem cell-based therapeutics for preeclampsia

Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy complication, characterized by high blood pressure and abnormal kidney function, which affects 5-8% of all pregnancies. It is responsible for a significant proportion of maternal deaths and growth-restricted babies; it is also a major reason why obstetricians induce delivery prematurely, resulting in additional neonatal complications, often requiring extended stays in […]

Cellular tools to study brain diseases affecting synaptic transmission

There is a group of brain diseases that are caused by functional abnormalities. The brains of patients afflicted with these diseases which include autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, depression, and mania and other psychiatric diseases have a normal appearance and show no structural changes. Neurons, the cellular units of the brain, function by making connections (or […]

Use of iPS cells (iPSCs) to develop novels tools for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common lethal genetic diseases in children. One in thirty five people carry a mutation in a gene called survival of motor neurons 1 (SMN1) which is responsible for this disease. If two carriers have children together they have a one in four chance of having a […]

Editing of Parkinson’s disease mutation in patient-derived iPSCs by zinc-finger nucleases

The goal of this proposal is to establish a novel research tool to explore the molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) – a critical step toward the development of new therapy. To date, a small handful of specific genes and associated mutations have been causally linked to the development of PD. However, how these mutations […]

Developing a method for rapid identification of high-quality disease specific hIPSC lines

Elucidating how genetic variation contributes to disease susceptibility and drug response requires human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hIPSC) lines from many human patients. Yet, current methods of hIPSC generation are labor-intensive and expensive. Thus, a cost-effective, non-labor intensive set of methods for hIPSC generation and characterization is essential to bring the translational potential of hIPSC […]

Use of hiPSCs to develop lead compounds for the treatment of genetic diseases

This study will use Ataxia-Telangiectasia (A-T), an early-onset inherited neurodegenerative disease of children, as a model to study the mechanisms leading to cerebellar neurodegeneration and to develop a drug that can slow or halt neurodegeneration. We will start with skin cells that were originally grown from biopsies of patients with A-T who specifically carry “nonsense” […]

Development of small molecule screens for autism using patient-derived iPS cells

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a heritable group of neuro-developmental disorders characterized by language impairments, difficulties in social integrations, and the presence of stereotyped and repetitive behaviors. There are no treatments for ASDs, and very few targets for drug development. Recent evidence suggests that some types of ASDs are caused by defects in calcium signaling […]

Site-specific integration of Lmx1a, FoxA2, & Otx2 to optimize dopaminergic differentiation

The objective of this study is to develop a new, optimized technology to obtain a homogenous population of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons in a culture dish through neuronal differentiation. Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain are the main source of dopamine in the mammalian central nervous system. Their loss is associated with one of the most […]