Stem cells, disease modeling, regenerative medicine, gene correction and lentiviral vectors as tools for gene transfer
Presenter: Dr Gustavo Mostoslavsky, Boston University School of Medicine
Date: 8 May 2013
Venue: AIBN Seminar Room
Dr. Gustavo Mostoslavsky received his M.D. from the University of Tucuman in Argentina and his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. His longstanding interest in basic science and regenerative medicine brought him to Harvard Medical School to pursue postdoctoral studies with stem cells and gene therapy. Dr. Mostoslavsky is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. His main research interests are stem cells, disease modeling, regenerative medicine, gene correction and lentiviral vectors as tools for gene transfer. Dr. Mostoslavsky is a founder and Co-Director of the BU Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM).
The Mostoslavskyr lab has a major interest in the study of induced Pluripotent Stem cells or iPS cells and the development of tools for their generation and characterization. Pioneering work by the laboratory of Dr. Yamanaka showed that fibroblasts transduced with retroviral vectors expressing four transcription factors, Oct4, Klf4, Sox2 and cMyc can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent stem cells that appear almost indistinguishable from ESC. In contrast to ESC, iPS cells are genetically identical to the individual from whom they are derived, raising the prospect of utilizing iPS cells for autologous cell based therapies without risk of rejection.
We have previously developed a single lentiviral vector expressing a stem cell cassette, named STEMCCA, capable of generating iPS cells from post-natal fibroblasts with the highest efficiency reported to date. We have recently modified it to make it excisable and have used it to generate mouse and human iPS cells free of exogenous transgenes. We aimed at using iPS cells in parallel to ESC for the study of endoderm/intestinal lineage specification, as well as for disease modeling and their potential for regenerative medicine. We are currently establishing and characterizing iPSC lines from several GI tract related diseases, including Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), Crohn’s disease and Hemochromatosis.