Senior Scholar Award in Aging
Stuart Lipton, M.D., Ph.D.
Burnham Institute

Use of Blood Stem Cells to Regenerate Neurons via the Transcription Factor hMEF2C

Recently, scientists at our Institute reported that stem cells derived from blood/bone marrow have the ability to be transformed into nerve cells in the brain. Research in this proposal will take advantage of this finding to generate large numbers of nerve cells from a donor’s own blood. We will use a transcription factor (termed hMEF2C) that was first cloned in the Lipton laboratory and recently shown to foster the development of nerve cells from embryonic stem cells. Additionally, this transcription factor averts cell death (apoptosis) of the stem cells during nerve cell development (neurogenesis). This transcription factor will be introduced (or “transduced”) into human blood stem cells in an attempt to produce nerve cells for transplantation. Initially, transplantation to replace lost or damaged nerve cells will be performed in the rodent brain, but hopefully the principles derived here will eventually be adapted for use in the human brain during various degenerative/aging states.

Contact Dr. Lipton.