Certain genetic disorders cause widespread disease in the body, but the principle reason for illness and death in early childhood is failure of the blood system. We would like to study these genetic blood disorders by “turning back the clock” – using new technology in stem cell biology to take skin cells from patients with genetic blood disorders and return them to an embryonic-like state, wherein they regain the ability to form any type of cell in the body.
Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
During embryonic development, neural progenitors undergo precise differentiation to generate the amazing variety of neuronal types that ultimately populate the mature brain. While some of the basic mechanisms that control general aspects of progenitor specification into neurons have been defined, the genetic programs that control the differentiation of distinct types of neurons in the brain are still largely unknown.
A major research focus of my laboratory is the dissection of the role of leukocyte integrins in inflammation, and an elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate the functions of these adhesion receptors in health and disease.
Joslin Diabetes Center Harvard Medical School Department of Genetics
Using the model organism C. elegans, we study how regulatory pathways that are important in growth control influence stress defenses and aging, as well as relationships between stem cell function and aging.
With a series of rodent models Dr. Bonner-Weir has provided compelling evidence that adult pancreatic beta-cell mass increases in response to a metabolic need and have been examining the mechanisms of this postnatal pancreatic growth.
Dr. Bonventre is Chief of the Renal Unit and Director of the Bioengineering Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has had a long-standing interest in various aspects of cellular injury and repair mechanisms in the kidney with a special emphasis on the role of inflammation, biomarkers and stem cells.
Dr. David Breault's research has exploited the fact the mouse telomerase (mTert) is a biomarker for embryonic and tissue stem cells. He has developed a streamlined technique for isolating and characterizing adult stem cells from a variety of tissues using genetically engineered reporter mice.
Alan Cantor's laboratory is focused on further elucidating the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate normal hematopoiesis and how they may be perturbed in certain inherited platelet disorders and hematologic malignancies.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
Elliot L. Chaikof, MD, PhD, has promoted alliances of clinicians, engineers, chemists, and biologists and in the process developed biologically-inspired materials, devices, and pharmacotherapeutics based upon the principles of molecular engineering and nanofabrication technologies. These endeavors have enabled advances in cell-based therapies, artificial organs, and engineered living tissues, which define the evolving field of Regenerative Medicine.