The department is heavily involved with stem cell research ranging from various types of adult stem cells to cancer stem cells. While each laboratory has a unique approach to investigating stem cells, a closer look reveals a general theme within the department, that of a molecular and biochemical approach to understanding how stem cells make their decisions to remain as stem cells or differentiate into various lineages. Over the past decade, unraveling this mystery has led to a number of discoveries including information about how stem cells differentiate into heart cells, b-islet cells, and neurons. Other work has shown that adult male germline stem cells could be de-differentiated into embryonic-like stem cells; the regulation of stem cells with signaling studies and the role of miRNAs is being pursued in several laboratories. Papers have been published in journals such as Science, Stem Cells, Oncogene, Brain Research, and Stem Cells and Development to name a few. Cancer stem cells are also highlighted within the department. Investigating cancer stem cells is important for identifying components that can be exploited in order to destroy them within cancer patients. Overall, stem cell research is strong in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology and the future looks bright.
Faculty with a research interest in adult stem cells:
- Partha P Banerjee [Associate Professor]
Telomerase and adult stem cell.
- Martin Dym [Professor]
Male germ cell.
- Albert Fornace, Jr. [Professor]
Somatic stem cells; maintenance of stem cell characteristics; genotoxic and oncogenic stress response.
- Ian Gallicano [Associate Professor]
Mammalian developmental biology; stem cell biology; embryo development; stem cell therapies.
- Nady C Golestaneh [Assistant Professor]