New York State Stem Cell Science

  • Vitamin C May Help Treat Certain Blood Cancers


    Mutations in the TET2 gene are among the most common signatures of certain blood cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The TET proteins, TET1-3, function in the demethylation of cytosine, one of the four bases found in DNA. Cytosine methylation is an epigenetic modification, a heritable change in the base’s structure that does not change the DNA sequence, that shuts down gene expression. The TET proteins are involved in the removal of this epigenetic mark and the potential reactivation of genes.

  • Parkin mutations cause changes in electrophysiological properties of neurons


    Electrophysiological changes in neurons with parkin mutationsParkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of a specific type of neuron in the brain.

  • NYSTEM Awardee Launches Biotech Company


    A longtime recipient of funding from the New York State Department of Health’s NYSTEM program has launched a new biotech company that aims to develop a treatment for Parkinson’s disease using human embryonic stem cells. The company is supported by $225 million in Series A financing from Bayer AG in Germany and Versant Ventures in the U.S., considered one of the largest-ever Series A financings for a biotech company.

  • Patient Cells Shed Light On Developmental Mechanisms Underlying Schizophrenia


    Although schizophrenia is not usually manifest until adolescence or early adulthood, current theories suggest there are neurodevelopmental defects that occur in utero during formation of the brain that underlie the disease. In order to understand the basis of the defects, Dr. Michal Stachowiak from the University at Buffalo collaborated with Dr. Kristen Brennand at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to examine stem cells derived from schizophrenia patients. Dr.

  • Toward Personalizing Treatments of Gliomas


    High Grade Gliomas (HGGs) are a class of brain tumors with poor prognosis. Despite being heterogeneous, all HGGs are treated in the same fashion, with surgical removal followed by chemo- and radiation therapy, and they invariably recur. Implicated in tumor resistance to radiation therapy is the DNA damage response, the cell’s process for repairing radiation-induced DNA damage. This repair process can allow tumor cells to escape the treatment and continue to grow. The signaling molecule TGF-β activates the DNA damage response, and inhibitors of TGF-β signaling can prevent this.

  • A Developmental Program for Cell Cannibalism


    Cells are well known to shed contents as part of remodeling during development. Now, the lab of Jeremy Nance at New York University School of Medicine describes a new remodeling process, termed “intercellular cannibalism,” that occurs during development of the nematode worm C. elegans. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the reproductive cells (gametes) in animals. Dr. Nance’s research shows that PGCs in the worm discard nearly half their cellular contents, including most of their mitochondria, through this process.

  • Molecular Checkpoint Decisions Made by Subverted Vascular Niche Transform Indolent Tumors into Chemoresistant Cancer Stem Cells


    Tumor-associated vascular endothelial cells (TECs) can regulate tumor cell aggressiveness. However, the “core” mechanism by which TECs confer cancer stem cell-like features is unknown. In this paper, Dr. Shahin Rafii’s group in Weill Cornell Medical College showed that by exposing indolent non-aggressive tumors to an activated vascular niche, they can be coverted into producing cancer stem cells. The research team used in vivo murine and human tumor models to identify the checkpoint role of TEC-expressed IGF binding protein-7 (IGFBP7/angiomodulin).

  • NYSTEM Releases Second Strategic Plan


  • International Collaboration Produces Haploid Human Embryonic Stem Cells


    With the exception of sperm and eggs, mammalian cells all contain a diploid genome with two copies of each gene, one copy inherited from each parent. Now, an international team of collaborators from New York and Israel report the production of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) from an unfertilized egg. The new report from the labs of Drs. Dieter Egli at Columbia University and the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and Nissim Benvenisty at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was published in Nature. In normal mammalian development, an egg will not divide until fertilized by a sperm.

  • Expert Panel Assesses NYSTEM Program