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Frederick Anokye-Danso Lab
The Frederick Anokye-Danso Lab investigates the biological pathways at work in the separation of human pluripotent stem cells into adipocytes and pancreatic beta cells. We focus in particular on determinant factors of obesity and metabolic dysfunction, such as the P72R polymorphism of p53. We also conduct research on the reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells using miRNAs.
Gabsang Lee Lab
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide unprecedented opportunities for cell replacement approaches, disease modeling and drug discovery in a patient-specific manner. The Gabsang Lee Lab focuses on the neural crest lineage and skeletal muscle tissue, in terms of their fate-determination processes as well as relevant genetic disorders.
Previously, we studied a human genetic disorder (familial dysautonomia, or FD) with hiPSCs and found that FD-specific neural crest cells have low levels of genes needed to make autonomous neurons--the ones needed for the "fight-or-flight" response. In an effort to discover novel drugs, we performed high-throughput screening with a compound library using FD patient-derived neural crest cells.
We recently established a direct conversion methodology, turning patient fibroblasts into "induced neural crest (iNC)" that also exhibit disease-related phenotypes, just as the FD-hiPSC-derived neural crest. We're extending our research to the ne...ural crest's neighboring cells, somite. Using multiple genetic reporter systems, we identified sufficient cues for directing hiPSCs into somite stage, followed by skeletal muscle lineages. This novel approach can straightforwardly apply to muscular dystrophies, resulting in expandable myoblasts in a patient-specific manner.
The Kunisaki lab is a R01-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 (lab manager); Lynn Zhou, PhD (postdoc), Shelby Sferra, MD, MPH (postdoc); Annalise Penikis, MD (postdoc)
Kunisaki SM, Jiang G, Biancotti JC, Ho KKY, Dye BR, Liu AP, Spence JR. Human indu...ced 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, 7:767-773view more
Founded in the late 1980s, our Lab has been exploring the fundamental mechanisms of neural responses to traumatic and degenerative signals as well as mechanisms of neural repair. Our current interests include: traumatic brain injury and models; mechanisms and treatments of traumatic axonopathies; molecular neuropathology of traumatic brain injury; induced pluripotent stem cells as models of disease.
Zack Wang Lab
The Wang lab focuses on the signals that direct the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, such as induced-pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, into hematopoietic and cardiovascular cells. Pluripotent stem cells hold great potential for regenerative medicine. Defining the molecular links between differentiation outcomes will provide important information for designing rational methods of stem cell manipulation.
The Zambidis Labratory studies the formation of pluripotent stem cells and the subsequent hematopoietic, endothelial and cardiac differentiation, as well as the potential therapeutic uses of pluripotent stem cell-derived cells.