Human pluripotent stem cells and the human embryo: Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) have opened up a previously inaccessible phase of the human life cycle to experimental study.
Our laboratory has two main areas of research. We use human pluripotent stem cells to study extrinsic factors that regulate self-renewal, pluripotency and lineage specification during early human development. We also carry out functional genomic analyses in human and mouse pluripotent stem cells to identify genetic factors that influence regeneration and repair in the central nervous system. We are very pleased to be collaborating with the Nishina laboratory on a study of the genetics of macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in the aging population.
A review in the journal Cell Stem Cells by two JAX scientists reports on the latest efforts to isolate and culture the elusive populations of stem cells that most closely resemble very early (two-cell stage) totipotent cells.
Dr. Martin Pera and Dr. Patsy Nishina at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine are seeking a Research Assistant II to join the Pera lab. The successful applicant will be part of an interdisciplinary team of scientists working to identify genes involved in macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss. We will use human pluripotent stem cells to create disease in dish models, to study the early changes in the retinal pigment epithelial cells in this condition, which cause dysfunction.