The Stadtfeld laboratory
We are driven by the desire to understand the cellular, molecular and epigenetic mechanisms that govern mammalian cell fate and use our understanding to modulate cell identity for biomedical purposes in a rational manner.
Molecular control of cellular reprogramming
Advances in reprogramming technology allow the generation of different somatic cell type The ability to use combinations of defined transcriptional regulators to convert differentiated adult cell types into induced pluripotent stem cells not only is revolutionizing biomedical research but also offers unique possibilities to interrogate basic aspects of cell fate change and stabilization. We are exploring the mechanisms underlying successful reprogramming of different somatic cell types, with a focus on the relationship of cellular signaling pathways and chromatin remodeling. In addition, we are investigating how the activity of specific chromatin-modifiers, and their interactions, contribute to the faithful resetting of the epigenome during the induction of pluripotency.
(In)stability of genomic imprinting
Genomic imprinting – the predominantly monoallelic expression of a subset of mammalian genes due to chromatin marks established in germ cells – is a paradigm of epigenetic gene control. Biallelic expression or repression of imprinted genes is associated with developmental syndromes, specific cancers and differentiation defects of pluripotent cells. We are developing transgenic mouse models to identify novel regulators of imprinting establishment in isolated cells and within tissues. We explore the possibility that modulating of specific genetic factors can counteract the erosion of imprinting in cultured pluripotent cells, which hampers the biomedical use of these cells.