Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine Research

Nadia Carlesso, M.D. Ph.D. Professor 
Modulation of the bone marrow niche to redirect cellular networks in stress and malignant hematopoiesis.
Dr. Carlesso’ s research interests are in fundamental and translational science and explore how cell-cell communication and the inflamed microenvironment alter the healthy trajectory of hematopoietic stem cells in aging, leukemia and sickle cell disease. Her laboratory studies the role of the bone marrow niche, Notch signaling, NF-kB pathway and non-coding RNAs in regulating hematopoietic homeostasis and in contributing to hematopoietic malignancies.

 

Nadia Carlesso, M.D., Ph.D.

Michael E. Barish, Ph.D. Professor
At the Intersection of Neurobiology and Immuno-oncology
Our laboratory is applying a developmental neurobiology approach to study of tumorigenesis in brain and cellular heterogeneity in glioblastoma, including design of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies against novel tumor antigens. We are also employing organoid and organotypic culture models to better understand adaptive reactions of brain tumors to the selection pressures imposed by immunotherapies in the context of normal brain tissue.

 

Michael Barish, Ph.D.

Yanhong Shi, Ph.D. Professor 
Disease modeling and therapeutic development for neurological diseases and cancer
Dr. Shi is developing stem cell–based “disease in a dish” platform to model neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and leukodystrophy, and cancer-immune interactions. The Shi laboratory is also developing stem cell-based cell therapies for neurological diseases and cancer, and developing therapeutics for glioblastoma, the deadliest primary brain tumor.

 

Yanhong Shi, Ph.D.

Karen S. Aboody, M.D. Professor
Translational Research - Neural Stem Cell as Delivery tool for Cancer Treatment
Dr. Aboody overses a translational research laboratory focused on using neural stem cells (NSCs) as a platform for targeted delivery of anti-cancer agents to invasive and metastatic solid tumors. Therapeutic cargo explored to date includes: pro-drug converting enzymes, therapeutic proteins (interleukins, anti-angiogenic proteins, antibodies), oncolytic viruses, stimuli-responsive nanoparticles, and exosome-encapsulated oligonucleotides. Ongoing are first-in-human NSC-mediated enzyme/prodrug and oncoviral therapy trials for patients with glioblastoma.

 

Karen Aboody, M.D.

Qiang Lu, Ph.D. Professor

Regulation of Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Differentiation in Brain Development and Tumor Formation
Dr. Lu’s research is aimed at understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that control proliferation vs. differentiation decisions of neural progenitor cells in the developing cerebral cortex. His group is also applying the knowledge gained from these studies to develop novel preclinical models and therapeutics for brain tumors. 

 

Qiang Lu, Ph.D.

Margarita Gutova, Ph.D. Research Associate Professor

Regenerative medicine for Traumatic Brain Injury 
Dr. Gutova’s research program is focused on the integration of regenerative medicine approach from bench-to-bedside directed to improve neurobehavioral recovery and learning after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI). Her lab is utilizing a neural stem cell in combination with environmental enrichment to restore function and/or attenuate TBI-induced deficits. Dr. Gutova is utilizing 3D culture organoid models and precision medicine approach to develop personalized treatments for patients with brain injury and tumors.  

 

Margarita Gutova, Ph.D.

Carlotta Glackin, Ph.D. Associate Professor Emeritus
Transcriptional Control of Tumor Cell Dissemination and Metastasis
Dr. Glackin has been focused on understanding the functional role of elevated TWIST expression in cancer cells; shedding light on the mechanisms underlying TWIST-mediated epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT); and developing new nanoparticle and small molecule approaches to inhibit TWIST in breast and ovarian cancer models. 

 

Carlotta Glackin, Ph.D.

Paul Salvaterra, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus
Molecular Neurobiology 
Dr. Salvaterra is interested in identifying underlying mechanisms responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD).  No existing AD animal models exhibit clear chronic progressive neurodegeneration an understudied disease phenotype. His lab has developed a human embryonic stem cell model which exhibits Abeta42-dependent neurodegeneration (TALEN editing of one allele of the amyloid precursor protein to directly express Abeta42 peptide). Parallel editing to express Abeta40 peptide does not show neurodegeneration. These cell lines can thus be used to uncover unknown mechanisms of Abeta42 dependent AD-like neurodegeneration in a human genetic context and test potential neurodegenerative blocking treatments.

 

Paul Salvaterra, Ph.D.