Christopher received his Ph.D. from Albany Medical College in 2007 studying mouse neural stem cells. His work focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of neural stem cell self-renewal; the unique property of stem cells that allows them to make more of themselves. Christopher continued his stem cell studies during a post-doctoral fellowship under Lorenz Studer where he used human embryonic stem cells as a tool to study neural development. His work there led to a novel discovery describing for the first time the derivation of the floor plate; the developmental origin of midbrain dopamine neurons in mouse. Midbrain dopamine neurons are the cells that die in Parkinson’s disease, and with hopes for generating these cells as a possible therapeutic, these studies are critical for the advancement of the stem cell field. Christopher joined NSCI in September where he will continue his studies on early human neural development using a combination of cell culture and molecular techniques.
Efficient derivation of functional floor plate tissue from human embryonic stem cells. Fasano CA, Chambers SM, Lee G, Tomishima MJ, Studer L. Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Apr 2;6(4):336-47.
Bmi-1 cooperates with Foxg1 to maintain neural stem cell self-renewal in the forebrain. Fasano CA, Phoenix TN, Kokovay E, Lowry N, Elkabetz Y, Dimos JT, Lemischka IR, Studer L, Temple S.
Genes Dev. 2009 Mar 1;23(5):561-74.
Highly efficient neural conversion of human ES and iPS cells by dual inhibition of SMAD signaling. Chambers SM, Fasano CA, Papapetrou EP, Tomishima M, Sadelain M, Studer L. Nat Biotechnol. 2009 Mar;27(3):275-80.
shRNA knockdown of Bmi-1 reveals a critical role for p21-Rb pathway in NSC self-renewal during development. Fasano CA, Dimos JT, Ivanova NB, Lowry N, Lemischka IR, Temple S. Cell Stem Cell. 2007 Jun 7;1(1):87-99.
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Natalia Lowry’s career path has taken her from treating children at the Institute of Pediatric Hematology in Moscow, Russia to teaching anatomy to medical students half a world away. Following the advice of her Russion mentor Dr. Lowry immigrated to the United States and entered the Albany Medical College graduate student program. Dr. Lowry focused her graduate studies on biochemistry and obtained her doctoral degree investigating transcription regulation in microorganisms. She applied her knowledge and skills in molecular biology to transcription regulation of neural stem cells while serving as a post-doctoral research fellow in Dr. Temple’s laboratory. Dr. Lowry’s current investigations include neural stem and progenitor cells for the treatment of spinal cord injury using fetal and adult animal models. “We treat the cells with different chemicals and implant them alone or in biodegradable microspheres that hold growth factors,” she explains. “Injury sites treated with neural stem cells improve dramatically”, she says. “We are studying self-renewal in neural stem cells, because for future applications in regenerative medicine we are going to need to need an efficient way to generate a large source of nerve cells.”
Multipotent embryonic spinal cord stem cells expanded by endothelial factors and Shh/RA promote functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Lowry N, Goderie SK, Adamo M, Lederman P, Charniga C, Gill J, Silver J, Temple S. Exp Neurol. 2008 Feb;209(2):510-22.
Stage-specific changes in gene expression in acutely isolated mouse CNS progenitor cells. Abramova N, Charniga C, Goderie SK, Temple S. Dev Biol. 2005 Jul 15;283(2):269-81.
Identifying the perpetrator in medulloblastoma: Dorian Gray versus Benjamin Button. Lowry NA, Temple S. Cancer Cell. 2009 Feb 3;15(2):83-5.
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Jun Yan started as a physician and then moved into the research lab of Dr. Vasilis Koliatsos at Johns Hopkins Medical School. “I saw many patients with diseases for which there were no cures. I felt the great importance of biomedical research,” he recalls. After earning his MD at the Capital Institute of Medicine, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, in 1984, Dr. Yan pursued research at the Beijing Neurosurgical Institute. Dr. Yan earned his Ph.D. in 1996 in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Miami - School of Medicine. His research interests coalesced around neural transplantation to treat degenerative diseases and injuries and has focused on two challenges: how to find enough cells to transplant, and how to make grafted cells grow and connect with host cells. For his doctoral work Dr. Yan purified a neuronal survival factor. He then did post-doctoral work in two neural stem cell labs, first at the NIH in Dr. Ron McKay’s laboratory studying neural stem cells as a potential source for transplantation, and then at Johns Hopkins University transplanting human spinal cord progenitor cells for spinal cord injuries in animal models. “Now I am in an excellent position to integrate the advances in these related fields,” he says. At the New York Neural Stem Cell Institute, Dr. Yan has turned his attention to perfecting culture conditions for neural stem cells. This includes isolating, purifying, and characterizing active molecules and optimizing endothelial support for the cells. He outlines the challenges for using stem cells to fill in and function in an injured spinal cord. “How can we make stem cells differentiate into the cells needed, and get rid of the unwanted, undifferentiated cells? How can we get grafted cells to functionally connect with the host tissue? We also need a backup plan, if something goes wrong with a stem cell implant. All these questions are significant challenges, the answers of which will greatly contribute to the scientific field.”
Ascorbic acid increases the yield of dopaminergic neurons derived from basic fibroblast growth factor expanded mesencephalic precursors. Yan J, Studer L, McKay RD. J Neurochem. 2001 Jan;76(1):307-11.
Purification from bovine serum of a survival-promoting factor for cultured central neurons and its identification as selenoprotein P. Yan J, Barrett JN. J Neurosci. 1998 Nov 1;18(21):8682-91.
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Dr. Corneo has been trained in human embryonic stem (hES) cell research through her experience as post-doc in Dr. Gordon Keller's lab, where she acquired knowledge in hES cell culture and differentiation into definitive endoderm, the germ layer that gives rise to pancreas and liver. She brings her experience to Dr. Temple's lab in the effort to differentiate hES cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into cell lineages of the eye for both cell therapy and eye disease modeling.
Corneo B and Temple S. (2009). Sense and serendipity aid in RPE generation. Cell Stem Cell. 5(4):347-8. Corneo B, Wendland RL, Deriano L, Cui X, Klein IA, Wong SY, ArnalS, Holub AJ, Weller GR, Pancake BA, Shah S, Brandt VL, Meek K, Roth DB. (2007).
Rag mutations reveal robust alternative end joining. Nature 449(7161):483-6. Corneo B, Benmerah A, Villartay JP. (2002).
A short peptide at the C terminus is responsible for the nuclear localization of RAG2. Eur J Immunol. 32:2068-73. Moshous D., Callebaut I., de Chasseval R., Corneo B., Cavazzana-Calvo M., Le Deist F., Tezcan I., Sanal O., Bertrand Y., Philippe N., Fischer A. and de Villartay J.P. (2001)
Artemis, a novel DNA double strand break repair/V(D)J recombination protein, is mutated in human severe combined immune deficiency. Cell 105: (177-186). CorneoB., MoshousD., GüngorT., Wulffraat N., Philippet P., Le DeistF., Fischer A., and de VillartayJ.P. (2001)
Identical mutations in RAG1 or RAG2 genes leading to defective V(D)J recombinase activity can cause either T-B-SCID or Omenn syndrome. Blood 97 (9) : 2772-2776. Corneo B., Moshous D., Callebaut I., de Chasseval R., Fischer A., de Villartay J.P. (2000)
Three-dimensional clustering of human Rag2 gene mutations in severe combined immunodeficiency. J. Biol . Chem. 275 (17) :12672-12675.
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