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Listing of Stem Cell Researchers and Faculty


The Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research is a world-class facility located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, the largest new biomedical and clinical campus in the United States. Its first-rate laboratory, as well as its ability to conduct on-site clinical trials has drawn some of the nation’s top talent in stem cell research. To find a researcher please search by keyword, subject area or alphabetically.

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Researcher and Research Focus

​Bruce Appel, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Link
Our focus is the investigation of mechanisms that regulate neural precursors and progenitors during development.

​Kristin Artinger, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
The primary focus of our research program is to understand how neural crest progenitor stem cells become differentiated cell populations, such as neurons, glia and melanocytes (pigment cells) during development. For these studies, we use both the zebrafish and mouse models with the hope to understand how this process goes wrong during birth defects and disease.

​​Reed Ayers, PhD
Colorado School of Mines

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Dr. Ayers' current research focus includes, reaction synthesis of calcium phosphate ceramics and intermetallics - including reactive structural materials, bone tissue engineering, tissue responses to biomaterials, and bone biomineralization.

​Susan Bailey, PhD
Colorado State University

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Our particular interest is in the essential roles telomeres and telomerase play in the maintenance of adult stem cell compartments. Most recently, we have been investigating ionizing radiation-induced reprogramming/dedifferentiation of non-stem to stem cells, and the implications of such findings for carcinogenesis and tumor repopulation following radiotherapy.

​​Christopher D Baker, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology & Stem Cells and Disease Links
Dr. Baker studies pulmonary vascular development and how pre-term birth disrupts this normal process to cause bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a form of neonatal chronic lung disease. Specifically, his lab isolates and characterizes circulating stem cells called endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from the umbilical cord blood of pre-term infants. His ongoing clinical-translational studies will help to better understand how EPCs function as biomarkers of disease and will lead to novel ways of treating and preventing BPD.

​Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease & Stem Cell Biology Links
We are studying the role of local and bone marrow derived progenitor cells during lung development and in the repair of the neonatal lung after injury.

​James Bamburg, PhD
Colorado State University

Stem Cell Biology Links
In a search for actin regulatory proteins in neuronal growth cones, I discovered the first member of the ADF/cofilin family of proteins in 1979 while on a sabbatical leave at the MRC laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Since then my lab has continued to study their activity and regulation in many different biological processes involved in establishment of cell polarity, polarized cell migration, neuronal growth cone pathfinding, cancer metastasis, and others. While on sabbatical in 1986 with Dennis Bray, Kings College London I made an antibody to chick ADF which we used to localize the protein to various tissues during development and first showed the proteins enrichment in neuronal tissue. Upon my return, I set up a fluorescence microscopy lab (funded by an NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant) for study of actin based processes in cells. For the past 18 years we have been studying the distribution and functional roles of ADF/cofilin in cell behavior. My lab demonstrated their phosphoregulation in 1993 and identified their single phosphoregulatory serine. We cloned and characterized the Xenopus ADF/cofilin and studied its role in early vertebrate development. We showed ADF competition with tropomyosins for binding actin, its cooperative binding to F-actin, and very recently showed that ADF/cofilin regulates directly myosin II contractility in cells through competitive binding. We have collaborated with labs to study the role of ADF/cofilin in receptor trafficking, particularly with respect to membrane insertion and retrieval of receptors such as the acetylcholine receptor and their role in AMPA receptor insertion and dendritic spine enlargement during long term potentiation. We have also studied integrin-related signaling processes in fibroblasts that modulate ADF/cofilin activity and actin reorganization, and in endothelial cells where cofilin activity can regulate permeability of cell networks. Other current research is focused on understanding how abnormalities in actin dynamics contribute to synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases and how the actomyosin contractile network in the cytoplasm is linked through the nuclear envelope to chromatin and to determine if cytoplasmic contractions can directly modulate chromatin architecture and gene regulation. Under cell stress conditions ADF/cofilins bind to actin to generate 1:1 cofilin-actin filaments that bundle in the presence of reactive oxygen to form rods. We were the first to study rods in neurons, where they form in dendrites and axons and can block transport, leading to distal atrophy, including synaptic loss. We identified rods in Alzheimer brain tissue and identified pathways for rod formation in neurons, a major area of current research in the lab. We found that many initiators of rod formation, including amyloid-β peptides, increase amyloid- secretion thus providing a feed-forward mechanism in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our lab has provided research training of more than 40 postdocs and PhD students and more than 60 undergraduates. We also maintain many collaborative projects around the world that have advanced our understanding of cell biological processes in many different diseases. We supply antibodies, plasmids and adenoviruses for ADF/cofilin studies to >40 labs per year. I have organized and direct the CSU Microscope Imaging Network, which is supported in part by the university to enhance microscope access for all CSU researchers.

​Kathrin Bernt, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

One of my major current projects involves characterizing the effect of loss of Dot1l and H3K79 methylation on normal hematopoetic stem cells. I was recently involved in delineating the effects of loss of H3K79 on the generation of iPS cells, and we were able to show that loss of H3K79 methylation facilitated (likely PRC2 mediated) repression of differentiation associated expression programs that represent a barrier to reprogramming. I have preliminary data suggesting a similar role for Dot1l in hematopoietic development.

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
We hypothesize that leukemia stem cells maintain self-renewal properties though aberrant expression of stem cell programs controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Targeted modulation of the epigenetic modifiers that regulate stem cell programs may serve as new approach to cancer therapy.

Stem Cell Biology Links
We are investigating how the interplay of different chromatin modifications guides hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells through the coordinated activation and shut down of stem cell and differentiation associated gene expression programs during normal hematopoietic development.

Ganna Bilousova, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
We generate clinically relevant patient-specific induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) using an optimized integration-free mRNA-based approach. We also perform an “in-house” design and generation of customized Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) for gene targeting. These technologies allow us to focus on developing gene-correction strategies for the treatment of inherited skin diseases and a variety of metabolic disorders. In addition, we investigate the applicability of iPSCs in tissue rejuvenation and wound healing using mouse xenograft models.
 
Stem Cells and Disease Links
Our team focuses on the differentiation of human patient-specific iPSCs into keratinocytes, neuronal progenitors, cardiomyocytes and mesenchymal stem cells with the goal to model human diseases in vitro as well as in xenograft models. These models allow us to study molecular mechanisms behind specific human conditions and to develop customized patient-specific therapeutic options.
Stem Cell Biology Links
We search for genes involved in the differentiation of iPSCs into somatic cells and study mechanisms behind iPSC-driven rejuvenation of somatic tissues.

​Stanca Birlea, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
Our group is focused on understanting depigmentation and repigmentation in human vitiligo, a disease that affects the entire world's population, causing significant social and psychological difficulties in all patients. We are interested in finding more efficient compounds that reverse depigmentation by studying, in the clinic, the human model exposed to different treatment alternatives, like narrow band UVB and topical compounds.
 
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
The research in our lab is aimed at identifying the cellular and molecular pathways of vitiligo repigmentation with the goal of manipulating the innovative stem cell approaches to induce regeneration of pigment cell precursors. We are focused on characterization of distinct melanocyte stem cell populations in the hair follicle and epidermis by identifying gene and protein targets that stimulate the regenerative pathway in vitiligo, in order to develop more effective treatments.

​Neil Box, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell and Cancer Links
We are presently studying the role of key oncogenic and tumor suppressor pathways, particularly p53, in melanoma progression and metastatic conversion through their effects on stem-like properties of melanoma cells.
 
Stem Cells and Disease
My group has an interest in understanding the skin pigmentary system and the potential role of melanocyte stem cells in hyperpigmentation and in pigmentation diseases such as vitiligo or premature graying where melanocyte loss is observed. We are focused on finding effective therapies for these conditions.

​Joseph Brzezinski IV, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

The Brzezinski lab is interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms that control retinal development and applying these findings to the design of cell replacement therapies to reverse blinding disease.
Stem Cell Biology Links
Our lab investigates the molecular pathways that program retinal stem/progenitor cells to become mature retinal neurons. In particular, we are investigating how rod and cone photoreceptors are formed from uncommitted retinal stem cells during development.
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Diseases like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can cause photoreceptors to die. This results in permanent vision loss because rods and cones cannot regenerate. Based on our work on retinal development, we are investigating ways to directly program embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to become photoreceptors suitable for transplantation into diseased retinas; potentially restoring vision.

​Ellen Burnham, MD, MS
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We are looking at the role of endothelial progenitors in critical illnesses, specifically acute lung injury and sepsis.

​Wallace S. Chick, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
Our lab is interested in discovering novel genes that improve the life span and health span of humans, using mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells as a tool.

​Scott Cramer, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells & Cancer Links
We study the role of stem cells as a target for chemoprevention of prostate cancer, with a particular focus on vitamin D mediated regulation of self-renewal and differentiation of the prostate stem cell. We also use a developmental stem cell model to interrogate the functional significance of prostate cancer genetic alterations.

Elisa M. Dannemiller, MD MBA
​Sharklet Technologies, Inc.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Sharklet Technologies, Inc. is working to develop and translate stem cell culture platforms and tissue engineering scaffolds using proven and patented Sharklet™ micro-pattern technology into innovative commercial healthcare products.

​Stijn De Langhe, PhD
National Jewish Health

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We study the development, regulation and function of lung stem cell niches in homeostasis and repair after injury.

​James DeGregori, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We study how competitive dynamics in stem and progenitor cell compartments influence whether initiating oncogenic events lead to clonal expansion and cancer.

​Peter Dempsey, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology and Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Dr. Dempsey's research focuses on the extracellular signals that regulate distinct stem populations within the intestinal stem cell niche. Current projects are focused on ADAM-mediated signaling events in the regulation of intestinal stem cells and crypt homeostasis and how these signaling pathways may be perturbed during inflammation and in colitis-associated cancer. For ADAM10 studies, we are investigating the role of ADAM10-mediated Notch signaling in the intestinal stem cell niche, cell lineage programming and in colon cancer models. For ADAM17 studies, we are studying the role of ADAM17-mediated ErbB signaling in intestinal injury/repair and inflammation models. Our studies use genetic mouse models and intestinal stem cell enteroid culture systems to study these signaling events.

​Steven Dow, PhD
Colorado State University

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We are researching the use of mesenchymal stem cells for immune modulation of airway inflammation in asthma, using mouse models and the use of mesenchymal stem cells for suppression of inflammation in chronic kidney disease, using cat spontaneous chronic kidney disease model. We are looking at vaccination against cancer stem cells as a new approach to cancer immunotherapy.

​Nicole Ehrhart, VMD, Diplomate ACVS
Colorado State University

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
The mission of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory is to design and conduct high-quality hypothesis driven research to benefit humans and animals with musculoskeletal tumors and trauma. Our current focus is the therapeutic potential of stem cells in bone regeneration following injury from radiation or trauma.

​Heide Ford, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 

​Santos Franco, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
The long-term goal of our research is to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which neural stem cells are instructed to generate the multitude of cell types required to build a properly functioning brain. In particular, we focus on the developing cerebral cortex and how different types of projection neurons and glial cells are specified from cortical progenitor cells.

Stem Cells and Disease
Disruption of the normal development of the cerebral cortex is associated with a number of devastating human neurological disorders, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, mental retardation and autism. The basis of normal cortical function is an underlying network of complex neural circuits, which are assembled during brain development from many different subtypes of neuronal and glial cells. Our lab is focused on elucidating the developmental origins of these various cell types to uncover the mechanisms by which cortical circuits are assembled. This research will provide insights into the pathologies of several neurological disorders and lead to a better understanding of how to efficiently generate specific cell types for stem cell therapy approaches.

​Curt Freed, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease & Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Links
The goal of my laboratory is to convert human embryonic stem cells to dopamine neurons for implantation into patients with Parkinson's disease.

Brian Freed, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
The University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank is one of the oldest public banks in the country and has facilitated >400 hematopoietic stem cell transplants in 20 countries.

​Jed Friedman, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
My focus is the fetal origins of obesity and diabetes in mouse, monkey, and man; the transcription factor in the regulation of metabolism.

​Mayumi Fujita, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
We look at the role of melanocyte stem cells and melanoma stem cells in melanomagenesis, melanoma progression and therapeutic resistance.

​James Hagman, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
My work focuses on mechanisms that drive the differentiation of stem cells or progenitors to activate B cell lineage-specific programs and undergo commitment.

William ​Hiatt, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Disease Links
William R. Hiatt, MD, is currently the Novartis Foundation endowed professor for cardiovascular research in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is the president of CPC Clinical Research which is a university-affiliated, non-profit Academic Research Organization (ARO). Dr. Hiatt’s academic career has focused on the clinical, educational, and research issues in peripheral artery disease and cardiovascular medicine.​

​Chris Hogan, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 

​Hua Huang, MD, PhD
National Jewish Health

Stem Cell Biology Links
We are investigating the interaction between adaptive immunity and bone marrow stem cells, and studying the differentiation of allergic effector cells from bone marrow progenitors, to develop methods to expand hematopoietic stem cells in vitro.

​William Janssen, MD
National Jewish Health

Stem Cells and Disease Links
I am interested in endothelial progenitor cell function in lung disease, including COPD and ARDS.

​Antonio Jimeno, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Our research looks to bridge the lab and the clinic by:
  1. Developing direct patient xenograft models of head and neck cancer to test new therapies and as a platform to study cancer stem cells, and
  2. Conducting Phase I clinical trials of agents targeted against de-regulated pathways and cancer stem cells.

​Karen King, PhD
University of Colorado

Stem Cells and Disease Links
My ongoing research includes the measurement of the biological, biochemical, and biomechanical effects of in vivo mechanical load on articular joints, the effects of diabetes on bone and cartilage, and tissue engineering studies for the development of bone and cartilage grafts.

​Chelsea Kirschner, PhD
Sharklet Technologies, Inc.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Sharklet Technologies, Inc. is working to develop and translate stem cell culture platforms and tissue engineering scaffolds using proven and patented Sharklet™ micro-pattern technology into innovative commercial healthcare products.

​Dwight Klemm, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease & Stem Cell Biology Links
My laboratory is interested in the contribution of bone marrow-derived stem cells to the adipocyte population of the major adipose depots.

​Peter Koch, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus 

Stem Cell and Cancer Links
My group is investigating the role of cell adhesion molecules and cell adhesion molecule-mediated signaling in cancer stem cells. Our main focus is non-melanoma skin cancer.

Stem Cell and Disease Links
My laboratory utilizes stem cell technology to investigate the disease mechanisms of inherited skin disorders, such as blistering skin diseases, and to develop therapeutic strategies to correct disease-causing mutations in patient cells.
Stem Cell Biology Links
Our team is developing experimental strategies to generate patient-derived stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells; iPSC) for basic and clinical research.

​Maranke Koster, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
My laboratory is interested in the mechanisms by which skin squamous cell carcinomas develop. To study this process, we genetically alter skin stem cells and determine whether this leads to tumor formation. These studies may ultimately lead to the development of novel treatments for patients with skin squamous cell carcinomas.

Stem Cells and Disease
Patients with ankyloblepharon ectodermal dysplasia and clefting (AEC) exhibit severe skin erosions as well as hair abnormalities. These abnormalities are caused, in part, by defects in epidermal and hair follicle stem cells of these patients. One goal of our laboratory is to further identify these defects and ultimately to design novel treatments for AEC patients.
 
Stem Cells and Biology Links
Research in my laboratory is aimed at identifying molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cells of the hair follicle. These stem cells are responsible for generating the entire hair follicle, and ultimately the hair shaft. By investigating how hair follicle stem cells function, we expect to gain insight into abnormalities in hair follicle stem cell function that occur in patients with certain hair disorders.

​Melissa Krebs, PhD
Colorado School of Mines

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Our lab is interested in the development of biopolymer systems that will allow the study of stem cells' interactions with their microenvironment, and which can be used for tissue regeneration. We are investigating the controlled delivery of bioactive factors, the presentation of insoluble signals and the effect of mechanical forces on cell behavior and tissue formation, and the influence that different cell populations have on one another.

​Katherine Lee, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We are using human iPS cells to generate sensory neurons that will serve as a model to study the neurotropic virus, varicella-zoster virus.

​Carlin Long, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Our lab is interested in determining the importance of an open artery in cardiac regeneration as a function of how this effects the extent of bone marrow-derived stem cell (BMSC) integration into injured myocardium and cardiac function following BMSC mobilization. An additional interest is determining the factor(s) that are present in the post-infarct heart responsible for BMSC homing as well as the cell-specific source of these substances

​Shi-Long Lu, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
We are focused on understanding the mechanisms of the PI3K/PTEN/AKT signaling pathway in maintenance of tentative esophagus, oral, and skin stem cells in their tissue homeostasis, with focus on the roles of the tentative stem cells in development of squamous cell carcinoma in esophagus, oral cavity, and skin.

Stephen Malkoski, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Our research involves the identification of cancer stem cells in lung squamous cell carcinoma and targeting of these stem cells in preclinical chemotherapeutic trials.

​Carrie McCurdy, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We our studying the fetal programming of adult metabolic disease; skeletal muscle stem cells and diabetes.

​Xianzhong Meng, MD,PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
Our lab is interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of bone narrow-derived stem cells in cardiac remodeling following myocardial ischemic injury.

​Tobias Neff, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in the self-renewal of leukemia stem cells. A well documented example are leukemias caused by fusions of the Mixed-Lineage-Leukemia (MLL-) Gene. MLL-fusions lead to deregulation of stem cell programs, involving genes such as HOXA9 and MEIS1. I am interested in the role of chromatin modifiers in the aberrant self renewal of leukemic stem cells. I am currently focusing on the role of EZH2, a member of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). Both, hyper- and hypo-activity of PRC2 are associated with cancer, but the mechanistic underpinnings are unclear. I believe that a more detailed understanding of the role of PRC2 in epigenetic gene regulation will lead to improved therapies targeting aberrant self-renewal in leukemia and cancer.

Stem Cell Biology Links
I have an interest in the role of epigenetic modifiers in the maintenance and self-renewal of normal hematopoietic stem cells. A better understanding of stem cell programs has broad therapeutic implications for stem cell expansion and stem cell gene therapy.

​Vu Nguyen, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Disease Links
We are studying graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which develops following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). A subset of T cells, called regulatory T cells (Treg), can inhibit GVHD, but their global and relatively non-selective capacity to suppress immune responses may compromise tumor and microbial immunity. Using cord blood hematopoietic stem cells, we are investigating human Treg development and migration in order to generate subsets of Treg that have the capacity to traffic into specific tissues to reduce local inflammation. With this strategy, suppression of inflammation in GVHD targets, such as the intestine, liver, and skin, would not abrogate systemic host immunity against deleterious antigens in non-affected organs.

​​Lee Niswander, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
We study genetic mechanisms of neural progenitor fate and lung development.

David Norris, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 

​Bradley Olwin, PhD
University of Colorado at Boulder

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
Our lab looks at the regeneration of skeletal muscle by a self-renewing resident stem cell.

​Karin Payne, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
The goal of the Regenerative Orthopaedics Laboratory is to develop novel stem cell-based therapies for musculoskeletal tissue engineering. The current focus is on the therapeutic potential of bone marrow stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.

​J. Mark Petrash, PhD
Stem Cell Biology Link
We are interested in the use of stem cells as therapies to correct genetic abnormalities that lead to blindness.

Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Link
Our team of investigators in the Department of Ophthalmology seek to develop the capability of expanding stem cells for therapies to replace the surface of the cornea.

​Manoj Pillai, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
The major focus our laboratory is to define cellular interactions in the marrow microenvironment (ME) that regulate the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC). Regulatory networks of small RNAs in the ME is of particular interest and we use genome-wide approaches to isolate and study the RNA interactomes.

Christopher Porter, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Our lab is focused on the development of novel therapeutic strategies for hematopoietic diseases and leukemia, with particular emphasis on hematopoietic and leukemic stem cells.

Yosef Refaeli, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
We have generated matched sets of normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells. We are now studying the differences between these two populations with high-throughput screening methods aimed to identify novel therapeutic targets and agents. This is a novel method to understand the differences between blood cancer stem cells and normal blood stem cells. The goal here is to identify novel drug candidates that can specifically target blood cancer stem cells and spare normal blood stem cell populations.
 
Stem Cells and Disease
We are developing a universal donor hematopoietic stem cell line for clinical use in conditions that would normally require a bone marrow transplant. Examples of this are cancer, immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases, acute radiation sickness, among others. This is a program that is focused on the development of a blood stem cell line that can be used for transplantation into humans. The use of a high number of very pure stem cells should also enable us to transplant the cells to any individual who require a transplant, without regard to genetic background and/or matching.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
We are studying the role of MYC in the regulation of hematopoietic
stem cell self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation. We are developing novel approaches to improve bone marrow stem cell transplantation, red blood cell production in vitro, and potentially extend our approach to other adult somatic stem cell sources. These programs aim to understand the molecular circuitry of stem cells - how they remain in a stem like condition, and how they choose to differentiate to a particular lineage.

​Susan Reynolds, PhD
National Jewish Health

Stem Cell Biology Links
We are studying the roles for wnt/b-catenin signaling in cell fate determination within the tracheobronchial and bronchiolar stem cell hierarchies.

​Angeles Ribera, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
Our recent work focuses on mechanisms that allow differentiated neurons to transdifferentiate and adopt a new identity, and thus potentially serve as a source of new cells for repair of the nervous system.

Dennis Roop, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
My research focuses on understanding the role of cancer stem cells in the maintenance and resistance of skin cancer.
  
Stem Cells and Disease
We are developing stem cell therapies for inherited skin blistering diseases.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
We are developing stem cell therapies for wound repair.

Carol Sartorius, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
My research program focuses on the role of cells with an epithelial progenitor phenotype in breast cancer disease progression, therapy resistance and tumor recurrence.

​Kunhua Song, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
The heart is the first functional organ formed during embryogenesis in mammals. Ischemic heart disease resulting in myocardial infarction (MI) and heart failure is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A fundamental process leading to heart failure post-MI is irreversible loss of cardiomyocytes, which are replaced by fibrotic scar tissue that impairs the pump function of the heart. The regenerative capacity of the adult human heart is too limited to compensate for the massive loss of cardiomyocytes post-MI. It has been shown that fibroblasts can be reprogrammed into many interesting cell fates by overexpression of lineage-specific transcription factors. We discovered that four cardiac transcription factors, GATA4, Hand2, Mef2C, and Tbx5, referred to as GHMT, are able to reprogram mouse fibroblasts into cardiac-like myocytes (iCLMs) in vitro and in vivo. In addition to GHMT, myocardin and microRNAs, miR-1 and miR-133, are required to reprogram human fibroblasts into iCLMs. Conversion of fibroblasts into iCLMs provides a platform to study molecular mechanisms of cardiomyocyte-specific gene activation or cardiomyocyte specification, and should facilitate development of novel therapeutic strategies for heart repair. In addition to our robust internal research programs, we actively collaborate with others in the field with the long term goal of promoting the use of regenerative medicine to improve human health. Currently, we are collaborating with Dr. Eric Olson, Dr. Rhonda Bassel-Duby and Dr. Jay Schneider at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Timothy McKinsey, Dr. Matthew Taylor and Dr. Peter Buttrick at University of Colorado to resolve mysteries of cardiac regeneration.
 
Current studies in our lab:
1. Understanding molecular mechanisms of cardiac development and disease in mammals. We are studying mechanisms of cardiac development in mammals using multiple approaches. We are studying molecular mechanisms of development of cardiovascular disease in human by generating patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).
2. Manipulating cardiomyogenesis or cardiac lineage reprogramming with small molecules. Though we and other investigators have shown that fibroblasts can be reprogrammed toward a cardiac cell fate, the efficiency is very low. Through high throughput screening of a compound library, we have identified a collection of small molecules can enhance the efficiency of cardiac lineage reprogramming. Currently, we are dissecting the molecular mechanisms of actions of these small molecules in vitro and in vivo.
3. The application of regenerative medicine to repair injured heart. Rebuilding functional myocardium in injured heart includes regeneration of right types of cardiomyocytes at certain area, reduction of fibrosis, reformation of durable blood vessels and so on. By using regenerative medicine as a foundation, we are developing therapeutic strategies to ameliorate pumping function of injured heart.
 

​Kurt Stenmark, MD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
We are looking at the role of bone marrow derived mesenchymal precursor cells in hypoxia-induced hypertension and remodeling.

​Tamara Terzian, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Cancer Links
We are interested in uncovering key molecular processes involved in driving tumorigenesis and metastatic programs using mouse models of cancer and p53.
    
Regenerative Medicine Links
We are interested in uncovering key molecular signals in melanocyte stem and progenitor cell activation using mouse models of pigmentary disorders and xenografting systems.

Disease Links
We are particularly interested in pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo and giant congenital nevi and finding novel therapies that we test on novel mouse  xeografting systems.

​Douglas Thamm, VMD
Colorado State University

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Treatment with adult stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is showing promise for a variety of immune, inflammatory and degenerative diseases in dogs and humans. However, there is accumulating evidence that MSCs may promote tumor growth through direct stimulation of tumor cell proliferation, migration and invasion and suppression of apoptosis, as well as indirectly through stimulation of angiogenesis and immunosuppression. Cancer is generally a disease of older dogs, the same population of patients likely to receive MSC therapy for other degenerative diseases. Thus, an understanding of the effects of MSCs on canine cancer behavior is critical. In this pilot study, we propose to investigate the effects of canine MSC conditioned medium (MSC-CM) on proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and migration in a large panel of canine tumor and endothelial cells. Demonstration that MSC-CM can exert tumor promoting effects in vitro will address a key safety concern regarding the application of MSC-based therapies in dogs with known or suspected cancer, and will inform decision making regarding MSC use in an aged dog population at risk for tumor development. At minimum, it may suggest that thorough screening for cancer be undertaken prior to MSC therapy. Furthermore, a large number of additional studies with relevance to canine cancer may be indicated to better characterize the tumor-promoting effects of MSCs.

​Enrique Torchia, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Disease and Cancer links:
We study how the regulation of mitosis, which governs the physiological roles of epithelial stem cells in development and tissue homeostasis, is altered in human diseases associated with abnormal cellular growth such as cancer.
 
Biology links:
We focus on the mitotic regulator Aurora Kinase-A and study its function in homeostasis and carcinogenesis using in vitro and in vivo models

​David Wagner, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

 

​​Xiao-Jing Wang, MD, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
Our research is focused on the identification of cancer stem cells in head & neck cancer and skin cancer; and then studying stem cell fate decisions during skin development and cancer.
  
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
We are developing methods to accelerate wound repair of epithelial tissues.

​Trevor Williams, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
Our laboratory is interested in the transcription factors and signaling molecules that program cells in the early embryo to adopt either a trophoblast or embryonal cell fate. We are especially focused on the role of the transcription factor AP-2 gamma in this early stem cell fate decision.

​Carol Wilusz, PhD
Colorado State University

Stem Cell Biology Links
Our lab is interested in understanding how post-transcriptional control contributes to reprogramming and pluripotency using human induced pluripotent stem cells as a model.

Jeff Wilusz, PhD
Colorado State University

Stem Cell Biology Links
Our lab is interested in understanding how post-transcriptional control contributes to reprogramming and pluripotency using human induced pluripotent stem cells as a model.

​Rui Yi, PhD
University of Colorado Boulder

Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
We are interested in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying the development and the regulation of skin stem cells. We currently focus on microRNA-mediated regulation in the self-renewal and differentiation of skin stem cells and their roles in the initiation and development of epithelial cancer.
Stem Cells and Cancer Links
My research interests are to investigate MicroRNA-mediated regulation in mammalian skin development, stem cells and cancer.

​Qinghong Zhang, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cells and Cancer Links
My research is focusing on the transcriptional regulation in skin biology, dynamic stemness, and cancer development.

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Links
We are interested in developing therapeutics for skin diseases and wound healing.

​Wenbo Zhou, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Stem Cell Biology Links
I am interested in the purification of dopamine neurons from embryonic stem cells and the reprogramming of human somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells.