PI: Dr Hannele Ruohola-Baker
Location: Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM)
Website: http://depts.washington.edu/taneli/

Signaling pathway modulation and control in stem cell development

The Ruohola-Baker laboratory is dissecting the molecular mechanisms that control stem cell self-renewal and regeneration capacity, both in normal and pathological situations.  In particular, the laboratory examines the differences between two human embryonic stem cell (hESC) stages, the newly derived naïve hESC and primed hESC. Since naïve human embryonic stem cells show higher developmental potential than primed hESCs (Ware et al. 2014, Gafni et al., 2013), it is critical to understand the key molecular differences between these pluripotent cell types. The laboratory has identified metabolic differences that regulate the naïve versus primed hESC epigenetic state. In collaboration with the Baker laboratory they now will define the key interactions between epigenetic regulators that control the metabolically regulated, highly reduced H3K27me3 histone methylation in naïve stage. The working hypothesis is that differential metabolites between pluripotent stages may control epigenetic dynamics and signaling and the goal is to identify the epigenetic modifiers that are controlled by metabolic differences.