Basic Science Lab

Summary

Our innovative science includes efforts to integrate stem cell populations and nanofabrication technologies (nanotechnology). This approach provides the opportunity to investigate cells on a smaller scale than previously accomplished, allowing us to study how cells communicate with each other and to develop the next generation of medical innovations.

LIVER STEM CELL FOCUS

  • Investigating unique liver cell populations for the purpose of understanding their role in liver development
  • Developing a miniaturized liver construct using stem cells for the purpose of drug screening; applications of this scientific effort will allow us to assess how the cells of the liver interact with each other and by creating this microscopic unit we can predict how a patient’s liver will tolerate specific drugs that a patient is taking (e.g. chemotherapy, cholesterol lowering agents, etc.)
  • Studying liver cell populations also supports our interest in understanding the biology of liver cancer

liver
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decellular liver HE1

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PANCREAS STEM CELL PROJECTS

  • Studying a novel pancreatic stem cell and directing it towards insulin production for the treatment of diabetes 

STEM CELLS AND TRANSPLANTATION

  • Studying immune responses after transplantation of these novel cell populations/organs. Many of the challenges in solid organ transplantation have dealt with the body’s ability to “reject” the transplanted tissue. Understanding how the body will react to these unique cell populations is critical to developing the next generation of clinical therapies.

ORGAN REGENERATION

  • Developing a matrix (or template) that supports the growth and differentiation of select cell populations to create functional organ-units or neo-tissues.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTSgrant image 1 small

  • Investigating novel small molecules that impact the growth and maturation of stem cells
  • Using technology to humanize organs from other species for regenerative medicine and drug discovery
  • Creating synthetically a tissue’s framework for the purpose of developing biosynthetic islets for the treatment of diabetes

 

 rachel