Featured Articles

Skin‐Derived Precursors as a Source of Progenitors for Corneal Endothelial Regeneration

Corneal endothelial dysfunction is a common cause of corneal blindness. Our work describes how functional corneal endothelial cells can be derived from neural crest cells isolated from facial skin (SKPs) of mice and humans. SKPs can be isolated from surgically removed redundant skin, suggesting that they can be used as an autologous source for regenerating the cornea.

Concise Review: Emerging Drugs Targeting Epithelial Cancer Stem-Like Cells

Drugs selectively targeting cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) continues to evolve, and holds significant promise for the next phase of cancer therapeutics. This review article highlights recent achievements in our understanding of CSCs signaling and its mediators and summarizes advances in the discovery and development of targeted therapy and novel therapeutics/drugs making their way to the clinic. We focused on the unique challenges of working with epithelial cell-derived CSCs, including the characterization of cell populations, the identification of druggable targets and pathways, their validation in preclinical models, and the translation to the clinic.


Journal Club Discussions

March 13, 2017

Researchers discover that a combination of pesticides at low concentrations can detrimentally affect human mesenchymal stem cells



Article Scans

March 27, 2017
A new study suggests that the blood anticoagulant factor Pros1 also plays a dual role as a regulator of neural stem cell quiescence and cell fate determination
March 27, 2017
A new study shows that the loss of a single microRNA is sufficient to endow mouse pluripotent stem cells with totipotent characteristics
March 20, 2017
A new study demonstrates that a metalloproteinase secreted by mesenchymal stem cells can effectively degrade the -synuclein aggregates associated with Parkinson’s Disease

Video Summary

Video abstract from Dr. Cooke, et al. on his recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Retinoic Acid Inducible Gene 1 Protein (RIG1)-like Receptor Pathway is Required for Efficient Nuclear Reprogramming" Read the paper here.

Video abstract from Dr. Hochane et al. on his recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Low-Dose Pesticide Mixture Induces Senescence in Normal Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) and Promotes Tumorigenic Phenotype in Premalignant MSC." Read the paper here.

Video abstract from Dr. Dunaway et al. on his recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Dental Pulp Stem Cells Model Early Life and Imprinted DNA Methylation Patterns." Read the paper here.

Graphical Abstracts

Confocal picture showing the myelinogenic potential of hiPS-NSCs engrafted at the border between the striatum and the corpus callosum of immunodeficient MLD mice at 3 months post-transplantation(green, human cells labeled with anti-human mitochondria; red, myelin basic protein; blue, nuclei counterstained with ToPro3). Scale bar: 100µm.

An ex vivo culture system used to isolate scalable quantities of hS/PCs with consistent expression of progenitor markers, is reported here. These hS/PCs can be maintained in long-term culture in 2D or in 3D, without loss of stem/progenitor markers.  Incorporation of bioactive basement membrane-derived peptides in the 3D hyaluronate (HA) hydrogel culture system enhances progenitor expansion.  Stimulation of hS/PC spheroids with neurotransmitter agonists leads to differentiation toward an acinar lineage.

Stem cells are emerging as a scientifically plausible treatment and possible cure for cerebral palsy, but are not yet proven. The lack of valid animal models has significantly hampered the scope of clinical trials. Despite the state of current treatment evidence, parents remain optimistic about the potential improvements from stem cell intervention and feel compelled to exhaust all therapeutic options, including stem cell tourism. Receiving unproven therapies from unvalidated sources is potentially dangerous. Thus it is essential that researchers and clinicians stay up to date. A systematic review and meta-analysis summarizing and aggregating current research data may provide more conclusive evidence to inform treatment decision making and help direct future research.