Developmental Biology

Demonstrated that adult stem cells isolated from muscle can be converted into functioning nerve cells, a concept now being explored in mouse models for treatment of Parkinsonism and spinal cord injury.

Watanabe Y, Kameoka S, Gopalakrishnan V, Aldape KD, Pan ZZ, Lang FF, Majumder S. Conversion of myoblasts to physiologically active neuronal phenotype. Genes Dev. 2004;18(8):889-900.

Demonstrated in preclinical models that adult stem cells of mesenchymal origin can be genetically modified to deliver anticancer molecules to the site of cancer.

Studeny M, Marini FC, Dembinski JL, Zompetta C, Cabreira-Hansen M, Bekele BN, Champlin RE, Andreeff M:  Mesenchymal stem cells: Potential precursors for tumor stroma and targeted delivery vehicles of anti-cancer agents. J Natl Cancer Inst 96:1593-1603, 2004.

Kojima K, Konopleva M, Samudio IJ, Shikami M, Cabreira-Hansen M, McQueen T, Ruvolo V, Tsao T, Zeng Z, Vassilev LT, Andreeff M: MDM2 antagonists induce p53-dependent apoptosis in AML:  Implications for leukemia therapy. Blood 106:3150-3159, 2005.

Demonstrated that the REST protein is a new member of an interconnected regulatory network used by embryonic stem cells to replicate themselves (self-renewal) and retain the capacity to differentiate into numerous cell types (pluripotency).  

Singh SK, Kagalwala MN, Parker-Thornburg J, Adams H, Majumder S. REST maintains self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Nature. 2008;453:223-227.

Demonstrated that mutations accumulating in DNA sequences that control gene expression within a population of animals may be a source of variation for the evolution of morphological differences between species.

Cretekos C, Wang Y, Green ED, Martin JF, Rasweilerr JJ, Behringer RR. Regulatory divergence modifies limb length between mammals. Genes Dev. 2008;22:141-151