Livestock Stem Cells
Livestock stem cells provide a more applicable model for studying human diseases than their rodent counter parts and their potential has long been recognized. Our lab studies stem cells from livestock species with an interest in their broad range of agricultural applications and their potential to be used for both veterinary research and medical models for human research.
In our lab, we work with:Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of developing embryos. These cells are pluripotent- meaning they can turn into any cell type in the body- making them an excellent candidate for cell therapy. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a novel class of stem cells that, like their ESC counterpart, can turn into any cell type in the body. Yet, what makes these cells unique is the manner in which they are derived. iPSCs are generated by overexpressing a combination of six reprogramming genes (POU5F1, SOX2, NANOG, LIN28, KLF4 or C-MYC), eliminating the need for isolation of cells from developing embryos.
Chimeric animals generated from livestock-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have opened the door of opportunity to genetically manipulate species for the production of biomedical models, improving traits of agricultural importance and potentially providing a system to test novel iPSC therapies.