Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University, Human Dev. & Regenerative Bio. (2012)
View details for DOI 10.1038/nmat3868
View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1501
Arteriosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Therapeutic angiogenesis aims to treat ischemic myocardial and peripheral tissues by delivery of recombinant proteins, genes, or cells to promote neoangiogenesis. Concerns regarding the safety, side effects, and efficacy of protein and gene transfer studies have led to the development of cell-based therapies as alternative approaches to induce vascular regeneration and to improve function of damaged tissue. Cell-based therapies may be improved by the application of imaging technologies that allow investigators to track the location, engraftment, and survival of the administered cell population. The past decade of investigations has produced promising clinical data regarding cell therapy, but design of trials and evaluation of treatments stand to be improved by emerging insight from imaging studies. Here, we provide an overview of pre-clinical and clinical experience using cell-based therapies to promote vascular regeneration in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. We also review four major imaging modalities and underscore the importance of in vivo analysis of cell fate for a full understanding of functional outcomes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000303258600011
View details for PubMedID 22239638
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are an attractive source for tissue regeneration and repair therapies because they can be differentiated into virtually any cell type in the adult body. However, for this approach to succeed, the transplanted ESCs must survive long enough to generate a therapeutic benefit. A major obstacle facing the engraftment of ESCs is transplant rejection by the immune system. Here we show that blocking leukocyte costimulatory molecules permits ESC engraftment. We demonstrate the success of this immunosuppressive therapy for mouse ESCs, human ESCs, mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), human induced pluripotent stem cells, and more differentiated ESC/(iPSCs) derivatives. Additionally, we provide evidence describing the mechanism by which inhibition of costimulatory molecules suppresses T cell activation. This report describes a short-term immunosuppressive approach capable of inducing engraftment of transplanted ESCs and iPSCs, providing a significant improvement in our mechanistic understanding of the critical role costimulatory molecules play in leukocyte activation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2011.01.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000288404400012
View details for PubMedID 21362570
The ability of pluripotent stem cells to self-renew and differentiate into all somatic cell types brings great prospects to regenerative medicine and human health. However, before clinical applications, much translational research is necessary to ensure that their therapeutic progenies are functional and nontumorigenic, that they are stable and do not dedifferentiate, and that they do not elicit immune responses that could threaten their survival in vivo. For this, an in-depth understanding of their biology, genetic, and epigenetic make-up and of their antigenic repertoire is critical for predicting their immunogenicity and for developing strategies needed to assure successful long-term engraftment. Recently, the expectation that reprogrammed somatic cells would provide an autologous cell therapy for personalized medicine has been questioned. Induced pluripotent stem cells display several genetic and epigenetic abnormalities that could promote tumorigenicity and immunogenicity in vivo. Understanding the persistence and effects of these abnormalities in induced pluripotent stem cell derivatives is critical to allow clinicians to predict graft fate after transplantation, and to take requisite measures to prevent immune rejection. With clinical trials of pluripotent stem cell therapy on the horizon, the importance of understanding immunologic barriers and devising safe, effective strategies to bypass them is further underscored. This approach to overcome immunologic barriers to stem cell therapy can take advantage of the validated knowledge acquired from decades of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.249243
View details for Web of Science ID 000314356700022
View details for PubMedID 23371903
Clinical trials of bone marrow-derived stem cell therapy for the heart have yielded variable results. The basic mechanism(s) that underlies their potential efficacy remains unknown. In the present study, we evaluated the survival kinetics, transcriptional response, and functional outcome of intramyocardial bone marrow mononuclear cell (BMMC) transplantation for cardiac repair in a murine myocardial infarction model.We used bioluminescence imaging and high-throughput transcriptional profiling to evaluate the in vivo survival kinetics and gene expression changes of transplanted BMMCs after their engraftment into ischemic myocardium. Our results demonstrate short-lived survival of cells following transplant, with less than 1% of cells surviving by 6 weeks posttransplantation. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of BMMCs revealed nonspecific upregulation of various cell regulatory genes, with a marked downregulation of cell differentiation and maturation pathways. BMMC therapy caused limited improvement of heart function as assessed by echocardiography, invasive hemodynamics, and positron emission tomography. Histological evaluation of cell fate further confirmed findings of the in vivo cell tracking and transcriptomic analysis.Collectively, these data suggest that BMMC therapy, in its present iteration, may be less efficacious than once thought. Additional refinement of existing cell delivery protocols should be considered to induce better therapeutic efficacy.
View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.238618
View details for Web of Science ID 000298288700014
View details for PubMedID 22034515