Our lab investigates the molecular basis of stem cell gene activation in human fibroblasts during induced pluripotency. We evaluate the role of FGF2 isoforms independently and in combination in order to identify key molecular mechanisms and pathways. We investigate FGF2 targets and partners during this phenotypic change. Last, we investigate the role of low O2-induced chromatin modifiers JMJD histone demethylases in activation, and the maintenance of this FGF2-induced stem-like phenotype. The second research area focuses on identification and characterization of Xenopus laevis oocyte components that possess reprogramming activity and can convert human fibroblasts into multipotent stem cells. At the undergraduate level, I teach Regulation of Gene Expression and Introduction to Biotechnology in alternate years. At the graduate level, I teach classes on cell cycle regulation, stem cell biology, and applications, and I lead a journal club on gametogenesis, fertilization, and embryogenesis.
Department of Biology and Biotechnology
Worcester Polytechnic Institute