Our lab tries to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying pluripotency and nuclear reprogramming. Pluripotency denotes the ability of cells, such as embryonic stem (ES) cells, to give rise to all cell types of the mammalian body, while nuclear reprogramming is the dedifferentiation of a specialized cell back into a pluripotent state. Reprogramming does not normally occur in vivo but can be achieved experimentally by nuclear transfer, ES cell-somatic cell fusion and by directly inducing embryonic genes in somatic cells, generating so-called induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells.
We are studying these processes functionally by establishing transgenic and knock-out mice and by manipulating murine and human ES cells. Combined with genome-wide approaches including RNAi and chemical screening we aim to dissect the mechanisms of pluripotency and epigenetic reprogramming. Ultimately, we hope that our research will aid in attempts to generate custom-tailored cells for treating and understanding disease through manipulation of defined genes and pathways.
SCRB 125 (formerly MCB 125)
Nuclear Reprogramming and Developmental Plasticity
Catalog Number: 5481
Half course (spring term). M., W., 1–2:30. Exam Group: 6, 7
This course will focus on the biology of organismal cloning, cellular reprogramming, and developmental plasticity. The roll that stem cells play in these processes and the genetic and molecular circuitry that underlie developmental potency and reprogramming will be discussed.
Prerequisite: Life and Physical Sciences A or Life Sciences 1a; Life Sciences 1b; SCRB 10 or MCB 54, or permission of the instructor.