School of Medicine
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Laurie Kraus Lacob Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI), Jerome and Daisy Low Gilbert Professor and Professor of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes that protect chromosome ends and shorten with cell division and aging. We are interested in how telomere shortening influences cancer, stem cell function, aging and human disease. Telomerase is a reverse transcriptase that synthesizes telomere repeats and is expressed in stem cells and in cancer. We have found that telomerase also regulates stem cells and we are pursuing the function of telomerase through diverse genetic and biochemical approaches.
Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation and Cancer Biology) and of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our research is aimed at defining the pathways of p53-mediated apoptosis and tumor suppression, using a combination of biochemical, cell biological, and mouse genetic approaches. Our strategy is to start by generating hypotheses about p53 mechanisms of action using primary mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs), and then to test them using gene targeting technology in the mouse.
The Ernest and Amelia Gallo Professor, Professor of Urology, of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Function of Hedgehog proteins and other extracellular signals in morphogenesis (pattern formation), in injury repair and regeneration (pattern maintenance). We study how the distribution of such signals is regulated in tissues, how cells perceive and respond to distinct concentrations of signals, and how such signaling pathways arose in evolution. We also study the normal roles of such signals in stem-cell physiology and their abnormal roles in the formation and expansion of cancer stem cells.
Shirley R. and Leonard W. Ely, Jr. Professor of the School of Humanities and Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We use genetic, genomic and cell biological approaches to study cell fate acquisition, focusing on cases where cell fate is correlated with asymmetric cell division.
Helen M. Blau
Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor, Director, Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Professor, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Prof. Helen Blau's research area is regenerative medicine with a focus on stem cells. Her research on nuclear reprogramming and demonstrating the plasticity of cell fate using cell fusion is well known and her laboratory has also pioneered the design of biomaterials to mimic the in vivo microenvironment and direct stem cell fate. Current findings are leading to more efficient iPS generation, cell based therapies by dedifferentiation a la newts, and discovery of novel molecules and therapies.
Michele and Timothy Barakett Endowed Professor
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab studies the molecular basis of longevity. We are interested in the mechanism of action of known longevity genes, including FOXO and SIRT, in the mammalian nervous system. We are particularly interested in the role of these longevity genes in neural stem cells. We are also discovering novel genes and processes involved in aging using two short-lived model systems, the invertebrate C. elegans and an extremely short-lived vertebrate, the African killifish N. furzeri.
Howard Y. Chang, MD, PhD
Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research and Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our research is focused on how the activities of hundreds or even thousands of genes (gene parties) are coordinated to achieve biological meaning. We have pioneered methods to predict, dissect, and control large-scale gene regulatory programs; these methods have provided insights into human development, cancer, and aging.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology, Gerontology and Metabolism)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab is interested in understanding molecular processes that underlie aging and age-associated pathologies in mammals. We focus on a family of genes, the SIRTs, which regulate stress resistance and lifespan in lower organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies. In mammals, we recently uncovered a number of ways in which SIRT factors may contribute to cellular and organismal aging by regulating resistance to various forms of stress. We have now begun to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which these SIRT factors function. In particular, we are interested in how SIRT factors regulate chromatin, the molecular structure in which the DNA of mammalian genomes is packaged, and how such functions may link genome maintenance to stress resistance and aging.
Michael F. Clarke, M.D.
Karel H. and Avice N. Beekhuis Professor of Cancer Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Dr. Clarke maintains a laboratory focused on two areas of research: i) the control of self-renewal of normal stem cells and diseases such as cancer and hereditary diseases; and ii) the identification and characterization of cancer stem cells. His laboratory is investigating how perturbations of stem cell regulatory machinery contributes to human disease. In particular, the laboratory is investigating epigenetic regulators of self renewal, the process by which stem cells regenerate themselves.
David Korn, MD, Professor of Pathology and Professor of Developmental Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Chromatin regulation and its roles in human cancer and the development of the nervous system. Engineering new methods for studying and controlling chromatin in living cells.