• Stem Cells, Regeneration and Repair

    Regeneration of cells in adult tissues has much in common with development and differentiation of cells in the embryo. Research in this area focuses on identifying and manipulating stem and progenitor cells to promote regeneration and to generate tissues for transplantation.

    Kenneth Campbell, PhD, studies the molecular genetic control of mouse forebrain development with a particular focus on the generation of neuronal diversity in the ventral telencephalon.

    Chieh Chang, PhD, studies the molecular cues for axon development, degeneration, and regeneration. He is also interested in understanding intrinsic timing mechanisms that regulate neuronal plasticity.

    Geraldine Guasch, PhD, uses the mouse as a model system to investigate the role of stem cells in tumor development. The long-term goal of the lab is to understand whether skin cancers arise from stem cells and whether tumors maintain stem cells, using a combination of genetics and biochemical studies. Visit the Guasch Lab site.

    Richard Lang, PhD, has a major interest in early development of the eye emphasizing the signaling and genetics of lens induction. His lab also studies how macrophages signal apoptosis in vascular endothelial cells during programmed vascular regression. Visit the Lang lab site.

    Masato Nakafuku, MD, PhD, is focused on the development and regeneration of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). We are seeking to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying normal development of the CNS. We are also interested in applying advancement of our knowledge on neural development for developing novel therapeutic strategies to cure neurological diseases. These two research fields are directly related to each other, and neural stem cells are the key and major driving force to link both research fields. Visit the Nakafuku lab site.

    Steven Potter, PhD, is interested in kidney and craniofacial development and disease. He uses a combination of laser capture microdissection, microarrays, and next generation sequencing, applied to both mouse models and human biopsy disease samples. Visit the Potter lab site.

    James Wells, PhD, researches the molecular mechanisms of endoderm organogenesis in mouse and humans. The goal of this work is to identify the molecular basis of congenital defects affecting the pancreas, liver, and biliary system and to direct the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) into therapeutic cells for replacement therapies, such as transplantable pancreatic beta cells for patients with type-1 diabetes. Visit the Wells lab site.

    Christopher Wylie, PhD, studies the differentiation of the germ line, and its contribution to the development of the early embryo. In particular we study the behavior of early germ line cells, and the control of patterning of the early embryo by stored mRNAs and proteins in the oocyte, including the formation of the primary germ layers, and the role of the cytoskeleton in controlling the architecture of the embryo.

    Aaron Zorn, PhD, investigates the molecular mechanisms controlling the development of organs such as the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract, which are derived from the embryonic endoderm. Visit the Zorn lab site.

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