Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Chanin Bldg., Room 416
The main interest of our lab is how the DNA replication program in mammalian cells is organized and regulated, with a current focus on human and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells.
Major recent breakthroughs in stem cell biology, such as the derivation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult skin fibroblasts, offer exciting new perspectives for modeling human disease, and ultimately for cell replacement therapy. However, the mechanism underlying the reprogramming process is largely unclear. Studies over the last few years have also illustrated that there is considerable variability among different hES and different hiPS cell lines with regard to differentiation potential. Such variability is a serious concern for the development of translational applications in human disease. It is therefore essential to identify in vitro surrogate assays that predict pluripotency in human cells. We have evidence that the analysis of the replication program will be a sensitive assay to define different levels of pluripotency and reprogramming and in part predict differentiation behavior of cells.
We are investigating:
- Reprogramming and regulation of DNA replication in human and mouse ES and iPS cells and how the replication program changes when ES cells differentiate along various developmental pathways.
- Genetic and epigenetic regulation of DNA replication in mammalian cells.
- Replication of chromosome-protecting telomeres.