Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Program Teaching Faculty

Phil Beachy

Function of Hedgehog proteins and other extracellular signals in morphogenesis (pattern formation), in injury repair and regeneration (pattern maintenance). We study
how the distribution of such signals is regulated in tissues, how cells perceive and respond to distinct concentrations of signals, and how such signaling pathways arose
in evolution. We also study the normal roles of such signals in stem-cell physiology and their abnormal roles in the formation and expansion of cancer stem cells.


Michael Clarke

The Clarke lab works on the molecular regulation of self renewal in normal stem cells and cancer. Modulation of these self renewal pathways are being explored as potential therapeutic targets for regenerative medicine and cancer.


Max Diehn

Our lab studies normal and cancer stem cells in the breast and lung in order to develop a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between these two cell types. We are particularly interested in identifying pathways and genes critical for cancer stem cell function that could be exploited therapeutically.


Sarah Heilshorn

The Heilshorn laboratory designs engineered micro-environments that mimic critical aspects of the stem cell niche using the tools of recombinant matrix design, biomaterials science, and microfluidics. Applications include systems that enable three-dimensional culture and expansion of stem cells, scaffolds for regenerative medicine, and injectable stem cell delivery vehicles.


Michael Longaker

The Longaker Laboratory investigates reparative and regenerative medicine using mouse models of normal wound healing, diabetic wound healing, skeletal rgeneration, and craniofacial development. We are interested in adipose-derived mesenchymal cells for tissue repair, in particular skeletal repair.


Ravi Majeti

Our lab focuses on the molecular/genomic characterization and therapeutic targeting of leukemia stem cells in human hematologic disorders, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The Majeti lab is also interested in developing a similar characterization of normal human hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cells. A major focus of the lab is the identification of cell surface molecules preferentially expressed on leukemia stem cells and the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies targeting these proteins. Toward this goal, together with Irv Weissman, the lab is actively developing an anti-CD47 antibody for clinical trials in human AML.
My lab website is still in progress, but will can be linked here:


Michelle Monje

The Monje Lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of postnatal neurodevelopment in health and disease. This includes postnatal neurogenesis and gliogenesis, cellular contributions to the neurogenic and gliogenic signaling microenvironment, molecular determinants of neural precursor cell fate, developmental origins of pediatric brain tumors, and the role of neural precursor cells in oncogenesis and repair mechanisms.


Roel Nusse

We are interested in the role of the Wnt pathway in stem cell control. Using mice in which the developmental fate of stem cells can be visualized, we track stem cells in various tissues. We are also interested in mechanisms of injury detection and stem cell activation, and in understanding how the physiological state of the animal, for example during hormonal changes, has an impact on stem cell bilogy.


Theo Palmer

Research in the Palmer lab focuses on the biology of neural stem cells in the developing and adult brain. Our goal is to leverage emerging stem cell technologies to better understand neurological diseases and their treatment.


Renee Reijo Pera

The Reijo Pera laboratory is focused on understanding how cell fate decisions are made in the human embryo, in particular how the germ cell lineage (which gives rise to eggs and sperm) is allocated from the somatic lineages (which comprise the rest of the body). The lab has developed novel hESC and iPSC lines suitable for genetic study of cell fate decisions, including the differentiation of somatic and germ cell lineages and identified novel genes that function in human germ line development. Her laboratory also has devised methods to non-invasively diagnose human embryo development that is most likely to lead to viable development.


Irv Weissman

The Weissman lab studies the identification, isolation, and function of normal and cancer stem cells, including the lineage of their precursors and progeny, and the phylogeny of stem cells in colonial protochordates. We also are deeply involved in taking normal and cancer stem cell discoveries through preclinical proof of principle, and to and through early phase clinical trials in humans.

Marius Wernig

The Wernig lab is interested in two major areas of stem cell biology. One focus is the epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells and this technique's translational applications for regenerative medicine. Another area of interest is the study of self-renewal mechanisms of mammalian neural progenitor cells, with the hope of identifying novel approaches to better understand brain cancer.


Joanna Wysocka

The biological question that is driving our research in the long-term is understanding the epigenetic basis of vertebrate development and differentiation. Although each cell of a multicellular organism is a progeny of a single zygote, and shares the same genetic information with every other cell, cells differentiate to specialized forms such as skin, muscle or nervous cells. Our research focuses on understanding the mechanistic basis by which covalent histone modifications regulate gene expression patterns during vertebrate development and differentiation. A second major area of our interest involves chromatin regulation in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), molecular basis of pluripotency and role of histone methyltransferases in cell fate decisions.

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