The Kunisaki lab is a NIH-funded regenerative medicine group within the Division of General Pediatric Surgery at Johns Hopkins that works at the interface of stem cells, mechanobiology, and materials science. We seek to understand how biomaterials and mechanical forces affect developing tissues relevant to pediatric surgical disorders. To accomplish these aims, we take a developmental biology approach using induced pluripotent stem cells and other progenitor cell populations to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which fetal organs develop in disease.
Our lab projects can be broadly divided into three major areas: 1) fetal spinal cord regeneration 2) fetal lung development 3) esophageal regeneration
Lab members: Juan Biancotti, PhD (Instructor/lab manager); Annie Sescleifer, MD (postdoc surgical resident); Kyra Halbert-Elliott (med student), Ciaran Bubb (undergrad)
Kunisaki SM, Jiang G, Biancotti JC, Ho KKY, Dye BR, Liu AP, Spence JR. Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived lung organoids in an ex vivo model of congenital diaphragmatic hernia fetal lung. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2021, PMID: 32949227
Biancotti JC, Walker KA, Jiang G, Di Bernardo J, Shea LD, Kunisaki SM. Hydrogel and neural progenitor cell delivery supports organotypic fetal spinal cord development in an ex vivo model of prenatal spina bifida repair. Journal of Tissue Engineering 2020, PMID: 32782773.
Kunisaki SM. Amniotic fluid stem cells for the treatment of surgical disorders in the fetus and neonate. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018, 7:767-773